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Book fair ends after successful return

By Zhang Kun | China Daily | Updated: 2022-11-25 08:27
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The 2022 Shanghai Book Fair took place at the Shanghai Exhibition Center from Nov 18 to 22, when some 120 publishers presented more than 20,000 books and about 100 reading activities were held online and on-site.

The book fair has taken place annually since its launch in 2004, except for 2021, when the event was canceled because of COVID-19.

The festival was delayed for three months this year due to the ongoing pandemic.

"People tell me that every year when the Shanghai Book Fair opens, they feel as if they are hearing alarm clocks ringing, reminding them about the importance and benefits of reading," says Xu Jiong, head of the municipal bureau for press and publication.

"Reading has taken many new forms today, but even so, every August people in Shanghai still look forward to the book fair."

The annual celebration of reading has become the city's most anticipated event for publishers and readers alike. Since the pandemic, many events have been held online, but face-to-face communication has nevertheless been irreplaceable, Xu adds.

Kan Ninghui, president of the Shanghai Century Publishing Group, says although this year's book fair was smaller in scale, the event's core value — promoting good books and quality publication — remained uncompromised.

Kan says he was happy to see publishers and video bloggers livestreaming almost all the events during the 2022 fair. "Such interaction between online events and on-site participation has largely expanded the space of the Shanghai Book Fair," he says.

"I hope that in the future, we can explore new ways to communicate with readers, and make the Shanghai Book Fair an effective platform for promoting reading and publishing."

Cui Junyou, deputy director of the Shanghai bureau of China Publishing Group, has attended the fair since 2008. China Publishing Group consists of 23 publishing houses, all based in Beijing. They brought 3,000 new titles and held 13 activities at the fair this year.

On Tuesday, before the fair closed at 9 pm, 31-year-old Shi Weixin was given a certificate for being the last person to enter the fair. He also received an invitation to be the first visitor to the fair next year.

"My office is just off Yan'an Road, so every year I hop on a bus after work and take a stroll through the book fair," Shi, who bought a series of books about new scientific discoveries, told local media.

"These books are quite heavy, so I had them delivered straight to my home," he says, adding that people can always find some "new discoveries" at the fair.

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