Largest U.S. Spanish Book Fair Poised to Break Attendance Records May 17-19, Los Angeles

LéaLA, the Spanish Book Fair of Los Angeles, and the largest Hispanic book fair in the country,

returns for the third year, May 17-19, 2013, to the Los Angeles Convention Center. The organizers are ready to set another attendance record to this free, three-day cultural event that has captured Latinos and non-Latinos interested in books in the language of 22 countries and their diverse cultures. Among many highlights will be a homage to Carlos Fuentes, world-renowned Mexican author, and a tribute to Jenni Rivera, Mexican-American singer.

LéaLA organizers expect over 100,000 visitors and more than 100 publishers showcased in 200 booths.

“Latinos do love to read and LéaLA has broken long-standing stereotypes,” says Marisol Schulz Manaut, LéaLA Director and recently appointed Director of the International Book Fair of Guadalajara. “We are proud to bring families and children a top caliber book fair and knowledge-based cultural activities for everyone to enjoy.”

The book world was abuzz recently when Schulz was appointed to lead the world-renowned International Book Fair of Guadalajara, known as FIL (Feria Internacional del Libro). Schulz took the position on April 1 and will continue to oversee LéaLA.

The popular Children’s Area will include more than 100 activities that will revolve around the role corn, or maíz, played in Mesoamerica. Special workshops will feature Mexican muralists, activities based on Ibero-American traditions and legends, and presentations promoting bilingualism.

Visitors will discover more exhibit space, author talks and book signings, discussion forums, plenary sessions, and poetry recitals. The literary program includes authors of international acclaim such as former politician Jorge Castañeda; Mexican novelists Beatriz Riva, Paco Ignacio Taibo, and Benito Taibo; journalists such as Anabel Hernández, Sanjuana Martínez, Yordi Rosado, and Fernanda Familiar; bestselling children’s book authors José-Luis Orozco, Antonio Orlando Rodríguez, and Francisco Hinojosa; Mexican professional golfer Lorena Ochoa; and internationally recognized motivational speaker Dr. César Lozano, among many other prominent names.

With 80% of visitors buying books at the fair in 2012, LéaLA has become an important point-of-sale event for booksellers. Schulz points out, “We set out to establish a book fair to promote reading in Spanish and celebrate Latino culture, but we quickly realized we were also filling a tremendous void in the Spanish-language book industry.” In 2012, LéaLA attracted 67,000 visitors, demonstrating that Latinos value reading in Spanish. In 2011, the book fair brought out 32,000 visitors, surpassing expectations.

LéaLA is a cultural festival where the pillars are the literary and publishing programs. It is also a unique space where Latinos can rediscover their roots and culture and feel proud of their native language.

LéaLA is an initiative organized by the University of Guadalajara Foundation in the U.S. and backed by the International Book Fair of Guadalajara.

For more information on LéaLA,