World’s largest floating book fair in Colombo

Saturday, 19 March 2011 00:57 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The MV Logos Hope, the world’s largest floating book fair is now docked at the Colombo Port to enthrall book lovers in Sri Lanka with its mind boggling collection of over 7,000 titles ranging from education, technology, history, philosophy, art, cookery and fiction, as well as a selection of children’s books.

Arriving in Sri Lanka yesterday, the ship will be open to the public starting today and the exhibition will go on until 3 April after which it will set sail to Tuticorin on 10 May. However, for those who will be unable to make it this time, the ship will be returning once again to Galle on 30 June  and the exhibition will continue from there until 18 July  and then head to Hambantota and will remain there until 22 July  after which it will sail back to India.


Operated by the German charitable organisation GBA, the ship is twice as big as any previous ship operated by the organization and can hold up to 800 visitors at anytime with capacity to host an additional 700 in the Hope Theatre and Logos Lounge. This publicly accessible deck offers visitors an introduction to the vessel and the organisation, the book fair, a visual presentation called the Journey of Life and the International Cafe.

The work of GBA Ships is made possible by the financial support of individuals and community groups all over the world. Ongoing operational costs are met largely through sponsorship of onboard personnel, generous donations from partners around the world and the goodwill expressed by civic and port authorities through reductions and waivers of fees. Thirty per cent of its total income is generated from the sale of books and the books in turn are provided to them by suppliers at a very low cost. The books therefore can be purchased at affordable prices.

The volunteer crew and staff, consisting of people from over 50 nationalities generally join the organization to live on board for two years and the ship, is on this visit, is looking to recruit staff from Sri Lanka as well. The Logos Hope also provides relief aid to underdeveloped communities joining hands with the local NGOs and government institutions and grants free books to communities as well as educational institutions and set up libraries in such places.

The ship continuously sails from port to port year around and although she has so far been sailing mainly in three regions - Northern Europe, the Caribbean and West Africa, she will be touring Asia extensively until the end of this year with stops at Thailand and Singapore.