HK Book Fair draws readers, fans and bargain hunters despite the gloomy weather

19-Jul-2018 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 6:32 AM Print This Post

More than 100 book lovers stood in line under gloomy skies some of them queuing overnight to grab the best deals at the Hong Kong Book Fair when it opened at 10am on Wednesday.

Among them was Shadow To, who arrived outside the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai at 10pm on Tuesday.

To, who is in his 30s, said he was prepared to spend HK$1,000 (US$127) and was gunning for an autographed title by his favourite local novelist, Lam Wing-sum.

“I can get her signed book only at the book fair,” he said, adding that he had “been her fan for many years”.

Organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, the 29th Hong Kong Book Fair will run until next Tuesday. A record-breaking number of exhibitors 680 in all from 39 countries and regions are taking part, and there will be 310 events, including book talks and seminars on various themes.

Several bibliophiles were spotted hauling suitcases around for their intended purchases.

“I can have more books to choose from because I arrived quite early. And with my suitcase, I’ll be able to carry many books home,” said Justyn Mak, a 13 year-old secondary school pupil.

Martin Lui, 30, took leave from work to snap up a limited-edition comic book on the popular 1980s crime flick, A Better Tomorrow.

“I am not a bookworm, and I have only been to the book fair a few times. It’s my first year lining up this early” said Lui, who arrived at 8.25am.

The theme of this year’s fair is “Romance Literature”, and the organisers are set to introduce 10 local authors of varying ages whose works feature sentimental stories of love.

The event follows the deaths last month of two prominent Hong Kong writers: romance novelist Eunice Lam Yin-nei, who died of cancer, and Liu Yichang, whose works greatly influenced modern literature in the city.

Some visitors took the chance to stock up on assessment books.

A 30-year-old woman surnamed Tang, who said she was buying them for her child, who is in Primary 1, said: “Some exercise books are quite popular, and I couldn’t get them in bookstores.”

Exhibitors used a variety of tactics to attract customers, from lucky draws to giveaways.

One vendor offered a readers a kitchen cleaner at a discount, packaged with quotes from famous writers, if they bought books on health or cooking.

Teresa Leung Lai-han from Commercial Press, one of Hong Kong’s largest publishers, said she expected business to improve by 2 to 3 per cent from last year’s fair.

“All the books will be discounted by 20 per cent, and this will increase when readers purchase more books. We hope to increase the average amount each buyer spends,” the deputy manager for corporate communications said.

Eva Chen Yuchin, manager of Taiwan-based Wu Nan Culture Enterprise, said her company had brought more travel books to the fair this year.

“Most of the visitors here are quite young, and in recent years more young students like to travel to Taiwan, so we brought more guidebooks,” she said.

Organisers have launched an app to help visitors navigate the fair and receive announcements and discount information.

Admission is HK$25 for adults and HK$10 for children. Early birds who enter before noon pay only HK$10. Visitors who buy regular tickets for Wednesday and Thursday will get one free re-entry after 5pm on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Almost a million people attended the event last year.


Category: Hong Kong

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