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Book fair opens on high note

Book fair opens on high note

Taipei, Feb. 11 (CNA) The 2015 Taipei International Book Exhibition opened Wednesday on an optimistic note, with President Ma Ying-jeou (???) playing up Taiwan's role in the world publishing industry. "This is really a thriving industry in spite of challenges from electronic reading materials," the president said, citing International Publishers Association statistics that put Taiwan's output of titles at 42,000 each year, or 1,800 titles per million people. That puts Taiwan on par with Slovenia as the second highest country for books-per-capita, following only the U.K., which publishes over 2,800 titles per million inhabitants, Ma said. Taiwan is the most populous Chinese-speaking society still using traditional characters also used in Hong Kong and Macau, and "we hope to maintain this tradition," he said at the opening ceremony. The annual fair, now in its 23rd year, is taking place Feb. 11-16 at Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Halls 1 and 3, bringing together 682 publishers from 67 countries. Culture Minister Hung Meng-chi (???) said that in addition to this year's theme country, New Zealand, another highlight of the fair is pavilions showcasing Taiwan's independent publications and indigenous literature. Hung noted that his ministry is currently working with independent bookstores to promote reading around the country. "We hope independent bookstores are not only places that sell books, but will become community cultural centers in the future," he said. At the ceremony, Ma presented awards to the winners of this year's Taipei International Book Exhibition Prize. Among them are Taiwanese writer Lou Yi-chun's (???) novel "Nu Er" (??) and Hong Kong writer Chan Ho-Kei's (???) detective novel "13.67." Sam Elworthy, president of the Publishers Association of New Zealand, noted that around 80 writers, poets, artists and publishers from his country will participate in the fair this year. More than 400 writers, illustrators and experts in the publishing sector will also participate in the hundreds of forums, book signings, book launches and other activities surrounding the annual event. The fair attracted 502,000 visitors last year. (By Christie Chen)


Updated : 2021-09-17 02:31 GMT+08:00