Taipei International Book Exhibition set for record crowds

Featuring local and internationally famous authors, TIBE starts Feb. 4 and runs for six days

Taipei International Books Exhibition features a range of international authors. (Ministry of Culture photo)

Taipei International Books Exhibition features a range of international authors. (Ministry of Culture photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In less than two weeks, the annual Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE) will be hosted at the Taipei World Trade Center, featuring a range of international authors and lasting six days, from Feb. 4-9.

Established by the Ministry of Culture in 1987, the fair will showcase over 1 million books from 67 countries. It offers both an opportunity for Taiwanese writers to reach a wider audience and for local readers to connect with the global literary community.

Last year over 700 publishers courted nearly 600,000 visitors at TIBE, with the 2020 edition of the fair reportedly set to be even bigger. Everything from manga to fiction, from academic titles to journalism, can be found among the stalls of the convention.

In the age of smartphones, the Taiwanese book industry remains a regional juggernaut, with nearly 5,000 publishing houses, over 2,000 bookstores, and close to 40,000 titles published annually. There are also roughly 10,000 translated books published every year.

Best-selling genres include young adult fiction, business and finance, self-help, the humanities, and language learning. Even though it does not sell quite as well, fiction continues to be one of the most published genres in Taiwan, allowing literary artists to cultivate an audience too.

Notable Taiwanese authors appearing this year include Luo Yi-jun (駱以軍), author of “Daughter,” and Zhang Gui-xing (張貴興), author of “My South Seas Sleeping Beauty.” Both are being awarded prizes for their work by the fair.

In addition to the many invited writers from distant continents, several famous Chinese writers such as Ha Jin (金雪飛) and Ma Jian (馬建) will be making appearances. Both are known for their critical stance toward the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and are unable to live or publish in their home country.

TIBE is free to under 18s and begins on Feb. 4. Additional information can be found on the website.