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Discover the world – one book festival at a time

Chilling at the Jaipur festival

Book festivals are the best. You get to leave the four walls of your home and hang out with other book-loving people doing book-loving things.

The only thing better than a book festival, is a book festival in another country. I discovered this when I travelled to India with my book club for the Jaipur Literary Festival.

I had become accustomed to being a minority brown person at the book festivals I attended. The event agendas would be a sea of whiteness, and if there was a spot of colour, it was often on the box-ticking, let’s-address-diversity panel.

At Jaipur I found myself in a historical Indian city surrounded by brown people, with a lineup of literary talks that centred brown folk. There were brown people talking about love and politics and health and art and science and all kinds of topics that had nothing to do with the colour of their skin. It was wonderful.  I heard new voices, new perspectives, new ideas…it was the definition of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s call for multiple stories.

And of course, I didn’t spend all my time at the festival. I also got to see India – a tiny slice, albeit – that gave me a richness, a frame of reference for future readings of Indian authors like Sonali Dev and Arvind Adiga.

Next on my festival list is the Ake book festival in Abeokuta, Nigeria. The sheer number of incredible authors bursting out of that country should make it a must-visit for every book-lover.

In short, there are fantastic book festivals happening all over the globe. Is there a better reason to travel?

17 international book festivals to consider:


Jaipur Literature Festival – India

19 – 23 January, 2018



Havana, Book Fair 2018 – Cuba

6 – 19, February, 2018



Kingston Book Festival – Jamaica

March, 2018



Buenos Aires Book Fair – Argentina

27 April – 15 May, 2017



Nigeria International Book Fair – Lagos, Nigeria

8 – 13 May, 2017



Jerusalem International Book Fair – Israel

11 – 15 June, 2017

Seoul International Book Fair – Korea

14 – 18 June, 2017



Africa Writes – London, UK

30 June – 2 July, 2017

Hong Kong Book Fair – China

19 – 25 July, 2017



Rio Book Fair – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

31 August – 10 September, 2017



Nairobi International Book Fair – Kenya

27 September – 1 October, 2017

Brooklyn Book Festival – US

17 September, 2017

South African Book Fair – Johannesburg, South Africa

8 – 10 September, 2017



National Black Book Festival – Houston, US

26 – 28 October, 2017



Malta Book Festival – Valletta, Malta

8 – 12 November, 2017

Ake Arts and Book Festival – Abeokuta, Nigeria

14-18 November, 2017



Abantu Book Festival – Soweto, South Africa

Dec 2017


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