If your favourite pastime is reading, you’ll know there is nothing like escaping into a realm of fantasy with characters you love.

And what greater platform to explore that even more than this year’s Cape Town Book Fair?

Book fundis and publishing professionals are invited to come out in full force for this three-day event of literary enlightenment, exchange and entertainment.

Taking place at the Cape Town International Convention Centre this weekend, there will be exhibitions, workshops, book signings, poetry recitals and fun activities for the whole family.

Says chief executive of the Publisher’s Association of South Africa (Pasa), Brian Wafawarowa: “There is in excess of 1 000 publishers in the country. Our distribution system can never be adequate enough and this is the platform for it. People who visit us see how big this industry is. It’s for the ordinary people to know the people behind the production process. There is nothing more thrilling than meeting the person who wrote the book you love.”

One such person whom book lovers can look forward to meeting is one of Africa’s most prolific writers, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, who will be participating in the opening session where visitors can share in a book reading and signing session.

He is a prominent novelist and theorist of post-colonial literature, most well known for writing Decolonising the Mind.

Now in it’s sixth year, organisers of the bi-annual event are intent on improving it and offering more access to the public, and as such tomorrow will be the sole trade-only day until 2pm, after which the public is welcome until 10pm.

This will give trade visitors an opportunity to share ideas and trade well into the night with representatives from India, Bangladesh, the US, Ghana, China, the UK, Pakistan and the Netherlands.With more than 200 events, including panel discussions, literary forums, book launches and symposiums, Wafawarowa says: “We have book launches for those people who are considering becoming writers, and career sessions. There are nine-year-old twins who wrote a book who will be there to inspire other children.

“It’s open to all ages with an interest in the literary world and those just wanting an exciting day out.”

• Cape Town Book Fair’s website: www.capetown bookfair. com. Book at Computicket.