HK Book Fair expected (go back »)

July 22 2010, 2:40 AM

Up to one million visitors, including thousands of visitors from the Chinese mainland, are expected to join the Hong Kong Book Fair, which kicked off on Wednesday, on the hunt for a bargain, a new hit or a date with literature celebrities.

About 70,000 visitors were recorded on Wednesday, and about 900, 000 visitors are expected to join the week-long event, said the fair\'s organizer Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

A record 510 exhibitors from 22 countries and regions are taking part in the fair, which runs through July 27 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center.

The fair also features more than 250 cultural events participated by over 90 writers from home and abroad under the theme "Reading the World, Writing the Future."

"The Hong Kong Book Fair has grown from strength to strength over the past two decades," said Benjamin Chau, Deputy Executive Director of the council, "The high quality of both English and Chinese writers appearing at the fair this year reinforces the growing importance of the fair as a premier cultural and literary event."

Chinese-language authors from all over the world are taking part in the Book Fair\'s Renowned Writers Seminar Series, including best-selling Chinese mainland author Han Han, recently nominated for Time magazine\'s "2010 Time 100 Poll".

English authors\' participation this year is also unprecedented in numbers and in international reputation. Highlights include British best-selling novelist Frederick Forsyth, author and actor Stephen Fry and historian Andrew Roberts, British poet and literary critic James Fenton and children\'s author Anthony Horowitz.

A limited number of pre-release copies of Forsyth\'s latest book, The Cobra, will be made available at the forums. The novel is scheduled for publication next month.

Digital publishing will find a bright spotlight at the fair. E- Books and Digital Publishing is a new addition this year among the fair\'s 15 pavilions.

Bonnie Chan, founder of Hong Kong\'s Handheld Culture said," Hong Kong people spend more than two or three hours on the road every day. If we can use the time to read on mobile phones, it\'s absolutely a step forward for a better lifestyle."

On the first day of the fair, the Asian Publishing Conference also examined the impact of digital publishing on the industry, with speakers from the Chinese mainland, China\'s Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

With about 50 percent more space than last year, English Avenue features the largest display of English books in the fair\'s history. The Children\'s Paradise pavilion, also the fair\'s biggest ever, will include celebrity storytelling sessions.

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