Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair

Five things not to miss at the Frankfurt Book Fair
Photo: DPA
From consulting a book doctor to immersing yourself in an author's world with the help of virtual reality, here are five things not to miss at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event.

Page the (book) doctor

Feeling stressed? Heartbroken? Step into the book doctor's surgery and let an author prescribe the perfect book to cure you.

Think you know of a book that's just what the doctor ordered? Put on the white coat, take a seat behind the desk and tell the fair which tale has best helped you in the past.

A 'new' Rembrandt

It's a new work by Rembrandt but the Dutch master had nothing to do with it. A Dutch team used artificial intelligence and a 3D printer to create the portrait, based on a computer algorithm that worked out the average features of a typical 17th-century Rembrandt subject.

While art critics have balked at “The Next Rembrandt”, the creators say they believe the painter, an innovator himself, would have “laughed himself silly”.

Virtual reality

With this year's special focus on art and technology, there's also no escaping virtual reality at the fair. At Taiwan's stand, visitors can immerse themselves in the world of author Jimmy Liao's latest picture book by slipping on a headset that lets them interact with a little girl who has lost her dog, and help water her plant or play catch with her to cheer her up.

Social reading

They say book lovers never go to bed alone, but increasingly they don't read alone either. Millions of readers are connecting on websites like Goodreads, discussing books and posting reviews. On the popular Wattpad forum, authors and readers can even collaborate on stories.

At the fair this weekend, fans of Harlequin books and similar bodice-ripping tales who usually share their love of romance novels in online communities will bring it back to the real world, with a reading session and a meet-and-greet with authors – which will of course be live streamed.

A book to sink your teeth into

With Flanders as this year's co-guests of honour, chocolate had to be on the menu. Visitors can marvel at a two-by-one metre book, made from 950 kilos of dark and white chocolate.

It's completely edible and may look good enough to eat, but the quality is not quite up to Belgian standards, organisers from Visit Flanders say.

Instead, admire the book while you try one of the pralines made on the spot by a chocolatier.

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