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Finland – and books – Guest of Honour at Frankfurt Book Fair

​Did you know that reading a book may reduce your stress levels by two thirds in about six minutes? From October 7-12, books are serious business in Frankfurt, host to the world's largest professional book event Frankfurt Book Fair. This year, Finland is the Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair and Stora Enso is one of the companies sponsoring the project.

The Frankfurt Book Fair attracts approximately 300 000 visitors annually, including over 175 000 publishing professionals from around 100 countries. In addition, an estimated 10 000 reporters and bloggers from more than 60 countries follow the fair.
"For Stora Enso, Frankfurt Book Fair is an important event to meet with our customers", says Kati ter Horst, EVP of the Printing and Reading division. Book publishers are the second largest professional group of visitors, just after book sellers.
"During the past years, fairs have become all the more international. In Frankfurt, not only German book publishers attend, but a large number of international partners. This is important for us and our global customers," she continues.
One of the leading book paper producers in Europe, Stora Enso's product range covers uncoated and coated paper grades suitable for many types of books, from school books to art books, and pocket to hard-covers. In addition, Stora Enso produces board for book covers.

Finland. Cool.

A Guest of Honour has been presented at the fair since 1988, and is given visibility around Frankfurt with numerous events and exhibitions.
"With around 5.5 million Finnish language readers, we need to help Finnish literature reach broader audiences," says Iris Schwanck, Project director for the Quest of Honour project and director of in Finnish Literature Exchange, FILI.
"In German-speaking Europe, 130 new Finnish titles will be published this year, which is more than ever," Schwanck rejoices. Together with re-prints and soft covers, the number of Finnish titles published in German exceeds 200 this year.
"The German-speaking public has always been a gatekeeper to other European markets, which increases the importance of new German translations. We have already had a bit of hype in English translations, that will exceed 30 new titles this year compared to some five usually published annually."
"Our aim with the Guest of Honour project has been to take the export of Finnish literature to a new level. It has required an enormous commitment from publishers, but is bringing in significant results," Schwanck recalls. "With authors representing various genres of literature, I am confident for the future of Finnish literature!"
"A small language public needs strong international networks to promote interest. The book fair project has increased the know-how in foreign rights agencies, and the quality of translations. All of these are needed – in addition to interesting novels – for exports to continue in the future," Schwanck concludes.
Co-ordinated by the Finnish Literature Society, the Frankfurt Book Fair project is the first Finnish cultural export project financed in equal parts by public and private funds. Stora Enso is one of the companies supporting the project.
"Stora Enso has a long history as a producer of book papers, and we believe in the future of the printed book," Kati ter Horst says. "Even more importantly, however, we want to emphasise the importance of reading regardless of the device in use."
Digital devices and new publishing and distribution channels are changing the business, but the printed book is still very much alive. According to UNESCO statistics, more than 2 million new book titles are published every year.
According to Mindlab International, a consultancy at the University of Sussex, reading is the ultimate way of relaxing – even better than listening to music or going for a walk.
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