The Malta Book Festival is held at what used to be the old hospital, now the Mediterranean Conference Centre, in the first or second week of November. It evolved from the Malta Book Fair, which was first held in 1979, into a festival that celebrates the book culture and seeks to represent the book in its entirety – not just as any object of consumption but as something that involves the reader beyond the confines of the book. For this reason, the event was rebranded as the Malta Book Festival in 2013.
As a direct result of this rebranding, the Festival expanded in scope both in terms of participation and as a cultural event. The cultural programme of the Festival now features a wealth of activities, including dramatisations of literary texts, discussions and conferences on literary themes, and expert readings of passages from novels or poetry. Weekday mornings are reserved for school children and students and a special programme of events is prepared for them.
This year the Festival will take place over five days starting on Wednesday 7 November and ending on Sunday 11 November. There will be two exhibition halls within the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta – La Sacra Infermeria will host publishers, NGOs and libraries (both local and foreign), whereas book sellers and bookshops will be hosted in the La Vallette Hall.