Tens of thousands flock to the Frankfurt Book Fair

There were full halls, crowds in front of the reading stages and long queues at signing sessions on the first day the Frankfurt Book Fair was open to the public, as tens of thousands of book lovers visited the world's largest book trade fair.

"It is very full and we are very satisfied," book fair spokeswoman Kathrin Gruen said on Saturday. "In the German-speaking halls we are at the capacity limit."

At the publishers' stands, visitors learned about new publications and bestsellers.

This year for the first time books are being sold over the weekend.

As has become the tradition, colourfully made-up and lavishly dressed young people - so-called cosplayers - were to be seen all over the exhibition grounds.

In addition, visitors were offered readings, lectures and discussions.

One of the hottest topics was climate change, with "Fridays for Future" campaigner Luisa Neubauer debating the climate crisis on Saturday morning with Premier Armin Laschet of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous state.

The guest country this year is Norway: At the fair - but also in museums and on stages throughout the city - the Scandinavians have been presenting themselves with a broad cultural offering.

German and Norwegian writers also competed against each other on Saturday afternoon on the football pitch, which was located on open ground between the exhibition halls.

The German team was coached by footballing legend Otto Rehhagel and scored a 5-3 victory.

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