Hungary is a fiercely proud nation with a distinctive literature, thanks to its unique and ferociously difficult language. And the annual spring National Book Week is a correspondingly important event in the calendar. This year’s National Book Week, running June 4th-8th, was the 86th, and also comprised the 14th Children’s Book Fair – illustrated in these pictures.
The Children’s Book Fair took place in central Budapest’s Vörösmarty square – and to give you an idea of how significant that is, imagine turning Piccadilly Circus or Times Square over entirely to children’s books. Named after the poet Mihály Vörösmarty whose statue is at its centre, the square stands at the intersection of two of the most important tourist thoroughfares – Váci utca and Deák Ferenc utca – and is at the peak of tourist popularity in early June, but the book stalls go out regardless.
As the Hungarian Publishers and Booksellers Association declares, “we are pleased to welcome you among the book lovers of Hungary.” That’s an example of a nation putting its literature truly where it belongs – at its heart – and giving it its proper due.