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Monday, November 1, 2010

Does Porto Alegre Have a Book Fair?

Visitors at the Book Fair - A crowd drawer
Also on Digital Journal

Gay Pride Parades, beautiful parks, beautiful people, all the amenities found in the best capitals all over and a book fair to boot?

Yes, Porto Alegre has a book fair. An annual event held every year towards the end of October, beginning of November.

It is one of the oldest in the country. This after one porto-alegrean visited one such fair in Rio de Janeiro and inspired, he came up with a similar event in Porto Alegre. That was in 1955.

What they wanted was to make books available to the masses and since they would not come to the books why not take the books to the them? That is what they did back then.

Paixão Côrtes - Honoree 2010. 
Alfândega (Customs) Square was a busy corner in Porto Alegre in the 50s and 400 thousand people inhabited the Merry Port. So, on November 16th, 1955, the first Porto Alegre Book Fair was set in motion with 14 wooden stalls around a monument to an important general. From then on, as you can imagine, the fair idea caught on and goes on until today.

With all the success, at the occasion of the eleventh book fair, the tradition of adopting one Honoree – a Guest of Honor, so to speak – who would represent the whole idea of the fair, began. And to him homage is paid every year.

The Honoree, more often than not a writer or an important personality connected to books or to academia, is always busy granting interviews and making clear his vision of the world.

This year’s fair will be held from October 29th to November 15th , 2010. Been swayed? Catch that flight and visit the fair.

The Roper (O Laçador) - Wikipedia

An agronomist, folklorist, composer, radio man and researcher of the Brazilian culture, Paixão Côrtes was born in Santana do Livramento, RS,  in 1927.  

A gaucho culture icon, The Roper Monument, Porto Alegre's chief symbol, was modelled after him in 1958.

Photos: Book Fair Organizers

Porto Alegre in English on YouTube


  1. Literate and well informed are lucky that Porto Alegre is one of Brazil's most progressive cities. Not that the rest of the country is too far behind.
    My hat is off to you Mauro and my best wishes and congratulations on the election of your President.

  2. Excellent words, Raulito..Thank you very much.