Taipei Book Fair physically opens for first time in 3 years

Taipei, Jun 2 (CNA) The 2022 Taipei International Book Expo (TIBE) returned as a physical event on Thursday for the first time in three years, featuring books from more than 300 domestic and overseas publishers, after the two previous editions of the exhibition were held online.

Featuring the theme “Reading and Publishing Beyond the Pandemic”, TIBE opened in Exhibition Hall 1 of the Taipei World Trade Center with around 160 domestic publishers and 150 international publishers from 21 countries, the minister said. of Culture Lee Yung-te (李永得) a speech at the opening ceremony.

Lee said he believed the exhibition would flourish because of the high importance Taiwan places on freedom of publication.

This year marks the first time the expo has been held physically since 2019 after the last two annual editions were online only due to the COVID-19 pandemic that began in early 2020.

Robert Lin (林訓民), president of the Taipei Book Fair Foundation, one of the main organizers of the TIBE, thanked France for accepting the role of “guest of honor” of the book fair for the fourth time.

About 80 French publishers will present 2,000 books, while three special exhibitions will be presented in the country’s national pavilion, said David Kibler, head of culture, university cooperation and education of the French Office in Taiwan, during the meeting. a press preview on Wednesday.

The organizers of the Taipei Book Fair also announced that Ukraine will join the exhibition for the first time in a special “We Stand with Ukraine” section.

Organizers said the fair will also include a special exhibition featuring the works of 15 Ukrainian illustrators that reflect Ukrainians’ current experience of the ongoing war with Russia.

Valentina Butenko, Head of International Market Development at Yakaboo, an online bookstore in Ukraine, will host lectures and keynote speeches on Ukrainian culture and national identity, as well as the country’s publishing culture.

Meanwhile, Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) thanked the editors for their hard work in enabling the successful holding of the TIBE.

“TIBE is a very important annual event, it is also a very important platform for exchanges between Taiwanese and international publishers,” Lai said.

Among the international writers who will be present at TIBE this year, Éric Faye, award-winning French author of more than twenty books of fiction, essays and travel writing, will host a book signing on Friday.

American novelist Jonathan Franzen and Dutch illustrator Anne Roos Kleiss, also known as Roozeboos, were also at the fair on Thursday.

Meanwhile, German novelist Stephan Thome and Belgian author and illustrator Marine Schneider will talk about their work on Friday and Saturday, respectively, while renowned Taiwanese writer Pai Hsien-yung (白先勇) will deliver a keynote speech on Sunday.

According to the Ministry of Culture (MOC), there is also a specially designed pavilion for families with children that uses interactive multimedia to showcase the diversity of Taiwan’s landscape as well as different animal and plant species.

A special section titled “HELLO 30!” will display 15 colorful capsules containing articles on previous book fairs, the MOC said.

According to the ministry, the ticketed event will be free for visitors aged 18 and under if they show proof of age, travelers from outside Taipei and New Taipei who show train tickets to get to in Taipei on the day of their visit, and foreign nationals who present their passport.

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in Taiwan, there are no crowd restrictions.

First held in 1987 as a biennial event, the Taipei International Book Expo became an annual fair in 1998.

Angela C. Hale