The 21st National Book Expo held in Northeast China's Heilongjiang province from May 27 to 30 is being hailed by the provincial government as a "significant event to both facilitate trade and improve the spiritual well-being of the local residents".
Previously called the national book fair, its name was changed in 2007. It is now China's largest publication trade show.
Over the past two decades, the expo has gone from a mere book fair to a more comprehensive event with exhibits, transactions, information exchanges, networking and other cultural activities.
This year, the session's sponsors are the General Administration of Press and Publications and the Heilongjiang provincial government.
The evnet's organizers said that the local government wants to do more than just making it a trade facilitator.
It wants to use the opportunity to showcase the province's recent developments in the publication industry and help increase public interest in reading.
According to the organizers, more than 100,000 business representatives from 31 provinces and regions in China - including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan - took part in the event.
The exhibition area reached 63,000 square meters, with over 300,000 publications on display and about 4,000 booths.
In addition to the main venue at the Harbin International Exhibition, Convention and Sports center in the provincial capital of Harbin, the book expo was also held in the cities of Qiqihar, Mudanjiang, Jiamusi, Daqing and Jixi.
The organizers said the use of so many locations made the book show a truly unique event, providing the widest influence and the highest level of development in its history.
They also noted it allowed as many people as possible to access various publications from all over the country, but was not limited to books and publications, with a number of other activities held concurrently.
Other events included a publishing industry forum, where officials from the General Administration of Press and Publications, provincial government leaders, business leaders and scholars shared their insights on industry developments.
There were a number of interactive activities involving customers, authors and publishers, including a readers' conference and a display of photos from local people and publishers.
Publishers from across the country also participated in a ceremony to donate books to rural libraries in Heilongjiang.
(China Daily 06/01/2011 page30)