The international Vilnius Book Fair has become a special cultural phenomenon both in Lithuania and the Baltic region, said Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, opening the book fair on Thursday in Vilnius.
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

"The fair proves that we are a nation of books and writing, a nation which gained its statehood through the Lithuanian word. This victory of freedom would have been impossible if not for the printed word, if not for those who write, translate, edit, and read," she said.

After the opening ceremony, the president had a short walk around to see the publishing houses participating in Vilnius Book Fair.

Grybauskaitė stopped to have a chat with young author, well-known journalist Andrius Tapinas who today is presenting his latest novel Day of the Plague, a second instalment in his Steam and Stone Saga, published by Alma Littera. Grybauskaitė said that she had read his first book in the series, Hour of the Wolf, and was very interested in the short presentation of the latest book.

Tapinas gave Grybauskaitė a signed copy of Day of the Plague. Then the president ventured upon an intrigue: she and the author posed for a picture inside an iron cage.

When a reporter of Elta asked the writer what the cage symbolised, Tapinas was mysterious.

"You will learn later, at the presentation of the book," he said.

The topic of this year's Vilnius Book Fair is crime stories.

The 16th international Vilnius Book Fair will take place on 19-22 February at the Lithuanian Exhibition and Congress Centre LITEXPO.

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