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Taiwan president launches book reading campaign

Tsai Ing-wen encourages Taiwanese to buy more books to support local publishers

Tsai's reading list for Lunar New Year holiday. (Facebook, Tsai Ing-wen photo)

Tsai's reading list for Lunar New Year holiday. (Facebook, Tsai Ing-wen photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Tuesday (Jan. 26) launched a book reading campaign to encourage the public to buy more books and support local publishers.

As the Taipei International Book Exhibition was moved entirely online due to the coronavirus pandemic, Tsai pointed out in a Facebook post that readers can still browse through the exhibits from the comfort of their own homes. She said this was the second year in a row that the event, which opened Tuesday morning, had to be held virtually.

Tsai emphasized that it is important for the public to support the Taiwanese publishing industry. She said she would like to challenge readers to share a book that they purchased recently.

To give an example, Tsai shared her reading list for the upcoming Lunar New Year holiday, which consists of 14 books. Her book recommendations include "The Courage of the Kurds (庫德的勇氣)," "Taiwan Breakfast Map (台灣早餐地圖)," "A Diary of the Sea (大海的一天)," "The Price of Democracy (狂飆一夢)," "Artist's Day Kitchen (藝術家的一日廚房)," and "Worldviews: The Origin and Journey of the Montane Plants in Taiwan (通往世界的植物)."

Tsai also thanked writer Chen Rou-jin (陳柔縉) for giving her a copy of "Daughter of Great Harbor (大港的女兒)," which vividly depicts the development of Kaohsiung City from a woman's perspective.

The president urged the Taiwanese to avoid visiting crowded places during the Lunar New Year holiday to prevent the potential spread of coronavirus. She said reading at home would be a perfect alternative.