Record numbers squeeze into book fair

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 25 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 25 July, 2007, 12:00am

The 2007 Book Fair closed yesterday after more than 760,000 people browsed its stalls, setting an attendance record.

Visitors were eager to snap up bargain books. But while many parents bought piles of books for their children, some left empty handed.

'The fair closes too early; there's not enough time for me to shop,' said college student Kenji Pa Tat-ki. 'I wanted to buy some fiction and books on humanities.'

Mr Pa arrived at the fair at 1pm, assuming he would have plenty of time.

But he did not know the event closed at 5pm on the last day, rather than 8pm.

He then spent too long looking at gifts and goods for teenagers.

'They should have let everyone know that the fair would close earlier today. We thought it would close at 8pm,' Mr Pa said.

But many parents picked up some bargains.

'I'm here to get some cheap goods, particularly textbooks and storybooks,' said Veronica Luk, who had a pile of gifts for her child.

'I think I have saved more than HK$100.'

Most traders increased discounts on books towards the end of the fair, with some cutting prices by 35 per cent. Some booksellers cut prices to HK$10, or offered a free book for every 10 purchased.

The managing director of Commercial Press, Steven Luk, said books on arts and culture, particularly Along the River During the Qingming Festival, which includes calligraphy and art from the Song dynasty, were especially popular.

'The price is quite affordable and many people would like to add it to a collection,' he said.

Reference books, such as language learning kits, were also popular.

There were more than 20,000 titles at the fair, of which 6,000 were new. The organiser, the Trade Development Council, said the most popular were children's books, non-fiction publications on subjects like cooking and travel and fiction.

There were 680,000 visitors last year, although this year's event ran for an extra day.

Wealth of words

This year's book fair set a new record for attendance

The number of visitors from the mainland 6,000