After three successful and growing years, the Spanish language book fair LéaLA did not return to Los Angeles in 2014. Launched by the University of Guadalajara USA Foundation and others in 2011, the annual book fair depended, in large measure, on government funding from Mexican sources, book fair officials said.
With the change of administration in Mexico in 2013 -- when a new president assumed office -- LéaLA found itself coming up short in its bid to raise its $2 million operating budget, said Raul Padilla Lopez, the foundation's president.
On Tuesday, LéaLA officials announced the book fair will return in 2015, now as a biennial event.
"We're coming back," said Marisol Schulz Manaut, LéaLA's director. "The Spanish-speaking community of Los Angeles made this book fair their own, and we're going to give it back to them."
The event will take place May 15 to 17 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Over its first three years, the event drew a steadily increasing audience, with 85,000 people attending in 2013. In 2015, for the first time, the book fair will also be a trade event, Schulz said, with librarians, book agents and others taking part.
Schulz also announced that in 2015, Mexico City will likely be the "guest of honor" at the event. "In 2013 our slogan was Los Angeles leen," Schulz said in Spanish, employing a Spanish pun that means both "Los Angeles reads" and "the Angels read." Now, in 2015, "Our slogan will be 'The Angels Are Still Reading," Schulz said.
More than 300 literary imprints were represented at the 2013 book fair. LéaLA expects to line up several "big name" authors for 2015, Schulz said. If all goes well in 2015, LéaLA might once again be an annual event, organizers said.