Israel’s annual Hebrew Book Week is now underway and though the world of print has been declared dying, thousands of bookworms continue to congregate at the country’s open-air book stalls celebrating the written word. National Library data show 7,863 books were published in Israel in 2013, 235 titles more than in 2012.
According to the National Library, 82 percent of new books last year were published in their original languages, with 18 percent translated (and English was the most frequently translated language among prose books).
Cats are the stars of social media. It turns out they’re also the most favored animals in children’s literature in Israel. Of the 879 new children’s books published last year, some 100 featured animals and the cat made an appearance in 22 books.
Israeli schools held a contest for favorite reads in 2013. Rhinos Don’t Eat Pancakes by Anna Kemp, the Ivy and Bean series by Annie Barrows and Yehuda Atlas’s This Child is Me topped the list by Grades 1-3. Grades 4-6 chose Rivka Magen’s The Ball is the Goal, I’m Not a Thief by Tami Shem-Tov and Aharon Appelfeld’s A Girl from Another World among their favorites. High-schoolers selected John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy, and Dorit Orgad’s Amalia and Joe as the year’s best reads.
Hebrew Book Week runs through June 21.