Buenos Aires Book Fair opens amid publishing industry crisis

Featuring 500 stands, 1,500 activities, and an inauguration speech by author Liliana Heker: here's what you need to know about Argentina’s premier literary event

Feria del Libro. Buenos Aires International Book Fair. Source: provided

The Buenos Aires International Book Fair, one of the most popular Spanish-speaking literary events in the world, opens today in La Rural convention center in Palermo. It will run April 25 to May 13.

The fair will feature 500 stands by publishing houses and distributors from all over the country, as well as over 1,500 activities including book presentations by best-selling writers and open debates featuring renowned scholars.

Ringing in this year’s fair, 81-year-old writer and essayist Liliana Heker will give a speech at 6 p.m. on Thursday. It will also be streamed on YouTube

“I know that current events have many terrible aspects that affect books, culture and universities,” Heker, founder of iconic literary magazines El Escarabajo de Oro and El Ornitorrinco, told SomosTélam. “In the face of abuse, words and affection are the best tools.” 

This year’s event aims to “give culture its heartbeat back,” according to the fair’s organizers, the El Libro Foundation. The motto is a rallying cry at a challenging moment for the industry. Book sales have dropped by 30% in 2024, according to the Argentine Book Chamber, as middle-class purchasing power is eroded by economic crisis while publishers grapple with a 55% increase in paper prices.

Claudia Piñero, Cristina Banegas, Sylvia Iparraguirre

Heker will also participate in a Julio Cortázar reading marathon on April 30, which will feature renowned local writers and artists like Claudia Piñeiro, Mauricio Kartún, Cristina Banegas, and Sylvia Iparraguirre, among others. 

The fair’s international guest list includes French writer David Foenquinos, Italian author and psychoanalyst Luigi Zoja, Portuguese writer Lidia Jorge, Peruvian poet Mario Montalbetti, and Ecuadorian novelist Monica Ojeda. 

Lisbon will be this year’s guest city. The fair will feature an array of literary connections between the Portuguese capital and Buenos Aires through multiple workshops and conferences during the eighteen-day event.

The Book Fair also organizes the April 26-28 International Poetry Festival, which will honor Argentine poets Jose Luis Mangieri and Joaquin Giannuzzi. 

President Javier Milei’s new book

President Javier Milei is scheduled to present his latest book of essays, Capitalismo, socialismo y la trampa neoclásica (Capitalism, Socialism and the Neoclassical Trap), at the fair. However, the event is being produced independently by the Office of the Presidency and Planeta publishing house. It will be held on the Rural Society’s main floor, which is not included in the Fair.  

Last Sunday, Book Fair director Ezequiel Martínez told Radio Rivadavia it was a “paradox” that “a government that is indifferent to culture feels the need to present a book in the country’s most important cultural event.”

In line with the Milei administration’s austerity crusade, Culture Secretary Leonardo Ciffelli announced there would be no official government stand, and that the money usually spent on the stand will go to the National Commission of Popular Libraries (Conabip). Cifelli is expected to attend Milei’s book launch, but not the inauguration — the first time the country’s top cultural official will be absent from the opening ceremony. 

Information on the fair’s hours, tickets and program can be found on the fair’s website

Days and opening hours 

Monday-Friday, 2p.m.-10 p.m.

Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday 1 May, 1 p.m.-10 p.m.

Saturday, April 27 (Fair Night) — 1 p.m.-midnight

Free Admission 

  • Admission is free every day for children under 12 (inclusive), school visits and people with disabilities
  • Admission is free for teachers as long as they show a job certificate or pay slip 
  • Monday-Friday (except May 1st) admission is free for students, pensioners and retirees as long as they show proof
  • Fair Night: admission will be free from 8 p.m. to midnight on April 27

Admission Tickets 

  • Monday-Thursday (except May 1):  AR$3,500
  • Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and holidays: AR$5,000
  • Three-visit pass: AR$7,500 (This pass is personal and untransferable, allowing one visit per day)

Tickets include book vouchers valid for use in the fair, as well as a AR$4,000 coupon to use at selected bookshops after the event.


The entrances and their associated ticket offices will be located at:

  • Avenue Santa Fe 4201 
  • Avenue Sarmiento 2704 and parking lot
  • Avenue Cerviño 4474 and parking lot

The entrance at Avenida Santa Fe has wheelchairs available for visitors.


All Right Reserved.  Buenos Aires Herald