Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Reading festival debuts at Taipei book fair

More than 40 public reading sessions will be held during the upcoming Taipei International Book Exhibition, organizer Taipei Book Fair Foundation said Feb. 7.

It will be the first time in its 19-year history that TIBE has staged such an event, according to TBFF Chairman Wang Jung-wen.

“Public reading became a tradition following Germany’s Leipzig and Japan’s Fukuoka book fairs,” Wang said.

“In the future, the foundation could make a reading festival of Chinese-language literature part of its annual routine,” he added.

This year’s TIBE, with an expected attendance of more than 500,000 visitors, will feature the works of over 80 writers from Taiwan and abroad. Participants will read in various languages including English, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Norwegian and Spanish.

At the Pavilion of Children’s books, ROC first lady Chou Mei-ching will read Feb. 10 from “On My Way to Buy Eggs,” an illustrated book by Taiwanese children’s author Chen Chih-yuan.

Noted writers from abroad, including Norwegian Jostein Gaarder and Australian Morris Gleitzman, are invited to speak at the event.

The Kingdom of Bhutan will be the Guest of Honor at this year’s TIBE. It will be the first time for Bhutan to participate in an international book fair, organizers added.

Ancient scriptures and texts by modern Bhutanese writers will also be featured at this year’s exhibition. In addition, Karma Ura and Kunzang Choden, two prominent writers in the landlocked South Asian nation, will read from their works.

Other highlights of the book fair include the Comics Festival, expected to draw over 300,000 anime fans, and the Digital Publishing Pavilion, which will showcase the latest reading technologies.

The six-day event will welcome some 800 publishers from 58 countries to the Taipei World Trade Center, organizers said, adding that 300 local and foreign writers will promote their books and meet with readers at the fair. (HZW)

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