Highlights from the upcoming Beijing International Book Fair

The 26th Beijing International Book Fair will be held from Aug 21 to 25 at the capital's China International Exhibition (Shunyi) Center.

Boasting an exhibition area of 106,800 square meters covering all eight halls, the fair claims to be the largest-ever in its history, attracting 2,600 exhibitors from 95 countries and regions. They will present more than 1,000 book- and publishing-related events during the fair, and showcase 300,000 titles to visitors and readers, said organizing committee member Lin Liying.

It will also be the first year the 17th Beijing International Book Festival and the 9th China Digital Publishing Exposition will be held together.

The world's second-largest book fair, this year's event will strengthen themes like high technology and its convergence with publishing, celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of People's Republic of China, Chinese culture and tradition and international exchanges between publishers, writers and readers from home and abroad.

Lin said 1,600 exhibitors are from overseas. "This year, we welcome 48 new publishers to the fair. In total, half the exhibitors are from Asia, which clearly proves the BIBF's global influence, especially in that continent. And British publishers have the biggest number of exhibition stands," she added.

"International publishers are all interested in telling better stories of China's development, its ideals and wisdom in dealing with international affairs," said Zhao Haiyun, a member of the import and export bureau under the Publicity Department of the CPC Central Committee.

Last year the book fair, serving both as platform of copyright trade and for the promotion of reading, reached 5,678 copyright contracts. The import–to-export ratio was 1:1.74.

5G plus reading

The book fair will join with tech providers to explore what 5G can do to the business of writing, publishing and reading. This will be the first time in the world a special zone for "5G+ reading" will be set up at a book fair.

With high speeds and low time delays, Lin said 5G will bring holographic images of people or content from books in front of the readers.

"In the future, fans can get a sense of how their writers look and talk with the help of 5G," Lin said. "It will change book launches, totally."

Romania as the guest of honor

Books, lectures, debates, exhibitions, a stage play and 40 more professionals are what the guest of honor country will bring to Beijing, said Miruna Olteanu, head of the Romanian Cultural Institute.

The Romanian books contain history and the country's views on China. Authors and publishers are highly anticipating the tour to China, as more Romanians are interested in Chinese academic works and literature.

Macao stories

To celebrate the 20th year of Macao's return to the motherland, Macao will be featured during the fair. A special project of 20 books by 20 authors will be released.

A Lai meets Sinologists

Tibetan writer A Lai is one of the country's important creators of stories and literature. Like Mo Yan, Yu Hua and Jia Pingwa in the past, A Lai will talk with translators and Sinologists from more than 30 countries who study him and his works.

Literary salons

With the title of "The Law of Attraction", Chinese writers will have discussions with international peers about the connections between individuals, man and nature, man and world. A writers' night will be held at a bookstore near Guomao on Aug 21, featuring music and writers' recitation of their own works.

Beijing culture

The Winter Olympics and Beijing's central axis will be highlighted, as well as traditional culture.

117 bookstores will offer special zones and lectures to assist the book fair out of its official site in Shunyi district.

Cultural products

Stationeries from many brands from all over the world, jewelries with traditional design and more cultural products based on books and Chinese history have been a constant favorite for fairgoers.

(Source: chinadaily.com.cn)