Hundreds of schoolchildren from poor families will enjoy free admission to this year's book fair. Some 300 children from Sham Shui Po, Tin Shui Wai, Tai Kok Tsui and Tung Chung - who are among the 700 being given tickets - toured the fair on the first day, each armed with HK$200 spending money thanks to developer Sun Hung Kai Properties, as part of the three-day Summer Bookworms 2008 Programme. 'This is really meaningful, especially when you see the satisfied smiles of children when they buy books that they like by themselves,' said Yip Chak-yan, assistant director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, which organises the fair. Three or four students from the same school were grouped together and led around by a teenage volunteer. A group from the Pak Tin Catholic Primary School in Sham Shui Po were excited about visiting the book fair for the first time. Yuen Yee-ting, 12, spends four or five hours each day reading. She said she had a small shelf of books at home, but usually borrowed books from friends or the library because they were too expensive to buy. The Primary Four student said she was happy to be able to shop at the fair. She bought a telescope, a book of short stories and a comic book. Yee-ting said she had read all of Jin Yong's dozens of martial arts novels in a year. She also likes writing. 'I would like to become a writer when I grow up,' she said. Ten-year-old Chow Wai-lam was delighted to have been given money to buy what she liked without restriction by her parents. 'HK$200 is already a lot,' she said. Wai-lam said that without the money, she would not have been able to buy any books. Like Yee-ting, she borrows most of the books she reads. She bought a comic book and a copy of Aesop's Fables. Shelly Choi Chi-yan, 13, seldom has money to buy books, but likes reading novels. She bought a book from one of her favourite series. 'These books always have perfect endings, unlike real life,' she said. She also bought her mother a cookery book and her little brother a book to test his IQ. The children's teacher, Leung Kai-kin, said the 33 students from the school who visited the fair yesterday had been chosen by teachers based on their performance in class, academic results and their families' income.