Turkey’s first book fair of the year expects more than 360,000 visitors. It’s by no means the biggest book fair in Turkey.

A common theme explored here at TNPS is the invisible book market happening alongside the regular trade infrastructure of bookstores, online bookstores and digital book stores. In some part of the word it’s easy to dismiss book fair and festival sales as a sideline, barely worth keeping track of.

But elsewhere book fairs and festivals are often the primary source of books for eager booklovers able to get to these events, and these sales can quickly mount up.

In Adana, final preparations are underway for the 13th Çukurova Book Fair, which runs from January 4-12, the first of a string of huge book fairs that will be taking place across Turkey in 2020.

Last year the fair attracted a record 363,575 visitors, up 7% on 2018. A record, that is, for Çukurova.

(UPDATE: the final number for 2020 was a new record at 368,344.)

In November the Istanbul Book Fair disappointed organizers by “only” attracting 605,000 visitors (it was expecting 1 million in 2019 and had 750,000 turn out in 2018):

But that’s just one of countless major literary events across Turkey that each attract many hundreds of thousands of visitors, all buying books outside the traditional retail infrastructure that informs our view of the scale of the global book markets.

Also in December 2019 the Eskişehir Book Fair drew a crowd of 87,124.

The January Çukurova Kitap Fuari is organised by TÜYAP Adana Fuarcılık A.Ş. in cooperation with the Association of Publishers, ÇUFAŞ Çukurova Fairs Inc., Adana Governorship and Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality.

Follow the TUYAP book fairs on twitter: @kitapfuari.

Next up in the TUYAP series of book fairs is the Karadeniz Book Fair (February 15-23), which pulled in 218,000 in 2019.

Then comes the Bursa Book Fair in March (7-15), which in 2019 drew a record crowd of 324,000.

In April it’s the turn of the Izmir Book Fair, which in 2019 attracted a record 512,743 visitors.

In June we have the East Anatolia Erzurum Book Fair. No numbers for that.

But we do know the numbers for October’s Diyarbakir Book Fair, which attracted a record 175,800 visitors in 2019.

The global book market. It’s so much bigger than you think.