Literature, foreign-language books, e-books favored at HK Book Fair

08:03, July 28, 2010      

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Works of literature, foreign- language books and e-books became new favorites during the 21st Hong Kong Book Fair closed on Tuesday, said the fair's organizer Hong Kong Trade Development Council.

About 920,000 people visited the Hong Kong Book Fair during a week-long run at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center, up 2 percent over the 2009 fair, including about 13,000 tourists, largely from the Chinese mainland.

An onsite survey during the fair, commissioned by the council, showed that the most popular types of books at the fair were works of fiction and novel by 54 percent, literature by 30 percent, travel by 18 percent, self improvement by 16 percent and children books by 15 percent.

Respondents who purchased literature at the fair increased seven percentage points this year over last year.

"The increase is related to the richer cultural activities at the Book Fair," said Benjamin Chau, the council's deputy executive director, "More than 90 authors took part in these events, and their books were available for sale onsite."

According to the survey, respondents who said they had come to purchase books in foreign languages increased by 13 percentage points over 2009.

"We attribute the growing interest in foreign-language books this year to the expanded English Avenue and the increased participation of internationally known authors."

Digital publishing found a bright spotlight this year. An "e- Book and Digital Publishing" zone made its debut at the fair, with positive feedback from visitors.

"Many exhibitors said that the download rate of their e-books surged during the fair period, given that many promotions were held to hundreds of thousands of fair visitors," said Chau.

About 270 cultural events were held to promote reading culture in the city. Chinese-language authors from all over the world took 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".

"It's encouraging to have nearly 60,000, up 50 percent, attend these cultural events," said Chau.

He noted that two seminars were particularly popular. "Mainland author and blogger Han Han attracted nearly 1,800 people to his seminar, half of them from the Chinese mainland. And nearly 1,200 participated in the public forum hosted by Sir David Tang and featured authors Frederick Forsyth, Stephen Fry and Andrew Roberts. "

Mean visitor spending at the fair was 476 HK dollars (about 61 U.S. dollars), up 1.5 percent year on year.

"Book lovers are more willing to spend on books, in light of the reviving world economy," said Chau, adding that 20 percent of the visitors spent 700 HK dollars (about 90 U.S. dollars) or more on books at the fair, up two percentage points over last year.

Source: Xinhua


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