Hive of activity as Book Fair bumps in for today's opening

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 July, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 July, 2008, 12:00am

Mountains of books spread throughout the Convention and Exhibition Centre yesterday as teams of exhibitors got their stalls ready for the opening today of the Book Fair.

This year's will see greater emphasis on English language books and activities - including the first participation by the British Council.

Dymocks business development manager Matt Steele said the company was glad there would be more promotion of English language books as Chinese language books had always been the focus. 'But we don't expect stronger sales. They will be similar to last year,' he said. 'We usually get busy but the fair is primarily created for Hong Kong people, so it's hard to say about sales.'

Page One senior marketing executive Keith Wong Yiu-wing said the company had increased its stock for the fair by 10 per cent and would focus on promoting movie-related titles and books on finance and economics. 'But we expect the sales will be more or less the same as that for last year,' Mr Wong said.

Each year the company highlighted English language books and it appreciated the organisers' plan to focus more attention on English language books, but it might not result in greater sales immediately, he said.

'However, we have noticed that people are more receptive towards varieties of books. For example, no one wanted to read books about the Middle East but now people do.'

The British Council will have an official presence this year as part of its 60th anniversary celebrations. The council is bringing authors and illustrators such as Peter Suart, Justin Hill and Polly Dunbar. Renowned columnist Chip Tsao, who was educated in Britain, will be among the authors to meet audiences at English language talks and workshops to be held on Friday's British Cultural Day.

Trade Development Council assistant executive director Raymond Yip Chak-yan said this year's fair was the biggest, with 483 exhibitors. New exhibitors Argentina and Spain - with its first pavilion featuring seven publishers - were among 15 countries in the international village section.

'[Spanish book publishers] felt that it has become more important to make contact with Asian countries, especially as the economies in Latin America are not doing do well,' Mr Yip said. 'Therefore they need to build up relationship with the east.'

Local exhibitors are also doing their best to attract business, with books on food, travelling and wine in prominent spots.

Last year the fair drew a record 760,000 visitors.

Booking a visit

Opening hours

Today: 9am to 10pm

Thursday, Sunday, Monday: 10am to 10pm

Friday and Saturday: 10am to midnight

Tuesday: 10am to 5pm


Adult: HK$25; child: HK$10; entry before 1pm: HK$10 (adults and children). Available at 7-Eleven, Circle K and HK Ticketing outlets. Octopus cards can be used to buy tickets.


Special ferries and cross-harbour buses will run as late as 1.30am on Friday and Saturday. For details, go to the department website or call the 1823 hotline.


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