The 27th edition of the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL), the largest Spanish-language book fair, ended its nine-day run over the weekend with record attendance. Tight security did not deter over 750,000 people (50,000 more than last year) from attending FIL. With Israel as guest of honor and a stellar line up of participants such as Shimon Peres, President of Israel and Nobel winner in literature, Mario Vargas Llosa, along with 656 authors (a 14% increase from the previous year), contributed to the record number of attendees. More than 22 languages were spoken by the participating authors making this fair more international in nature with each passing year.

The fair not only caters to consumers but it is also a place where the business of books takes place. This year, over 20,000 book professionals from 43 different countries participated. The greatest increase came from the Rights Center where 16% more agents and publishers were negotiating rights in more languages than ever before. As the world becomes more global and consumers are more mobile, an increasing number of distributors from different corners of the world were also in attendance.

In addition to adults at the fair, almost 160,000 children attended the children’s pavilion. Marisol Schulz, FIL director said the large turnout of children was due in part to the fact that, “Mexico is a very young country, the average age is much lower than that of the U.S. or Europe therefore we must meet the needs of future book consumers today, not when they are adults.”

The fair said goodbye to Israel as the honor country and prepare for next year’s guest of honor, Argentina.