THOUSANDS of people from the very young to the elderly flocked to Victoria Park recently to take part in a reading promotion carnival under brilliant sunshine. A variety of games stalls manned by pupils from 53 secondary schools was set up at the fair, Reading Carnival '93. This meaningful event was jointly organised by the Hongkong Professional Teachers' Union, the Education Unit of RTHK and the Urban Council Public Libraries Office. Although it was hot - about 30 degrees Celsius - and humid, the weather did not dampen the enthusiasm of visitors to stay in the open, especially the younger ones, to enjoy themselves. According to the chairman of the Reading Carnival committee,, Mr Wong Chi-keung, the fair was aimed at promoting the reading habit among students and providing them with an opportunity to exchange views on reading. ''Many books, magazines and movies today tend to focus too much on sex and violence. This may affect youngsters' minds and their way of thinking,'' Mr Wong said. The organisers are hoping that students would switch their interest to reading more ''healthy'' books after the fair. ''Persuading youngsters to read good books through games is much more useful and efficacious than persuading them through a series of boring seminars,'' Mr Wong said. There were 18 games stalls altogether, they ranged from those introducing paper fold and paper silhouettes to guessing the book's name and quiz. A song dedication service was also available on the spot which allowed students to choose their favourite number. And there was also a karaoke competition. The organisers also took the opportunity to promote the message of environmental protection at the fair. Participants made use of scrap material like newspapers and magazines for their costume. Historical figures like the Last Emperor Pu Yi, Shihuangdi of the Qin dynasty, Guan Yu, the Hunchback of Notre Dame, writer Xinglinzi and many more were created. Third-former Cally Kwok Yin-wah of the Lee Lim Ming College, which had a stall at the fair, felt that participants would learn something from the experience. Apart from picking up useful knowledge on good books, the most valuable thing she got out of the event was developing her interpersonal skills.