Shanghai Book Fair takes place amid pandemic

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Shanghai Book Fair takes place amid pandemic

Visitors to the Shanghai Book Fair are interested in cultural products related to publications. FANG ZHE XINHUA The 2022 Shanghai Book Fair took place from Nov 18 to 22 at the Shanghai Exhibition Center when 120 publishers presented more than 20,000 books and about 100 reading activities were held online and on-site.

The book fair has taken place annually since its launch in 2004, except for 2021 when the event was canceled because of COVID - 19.

The festival was delayed for three months this year due to the ongoing Pandemic.

People tell me that every year when the Shanghai Book Fair opens, they feel as if they are hearing alarm clocks ringing, reminding them about the importance and benefits of reading, says Xu Jiong, head of the municipal bureau for press and publication.

Reading has taken many new forms today, but every August people in Shanghai still look forward to the book fair. The annual celebration of reading has become the most anticipated event for publishers and readers alike. Since the Pandemic, many events have been held online, but face-to-face communication has still been irreplaceable, Xu adds.

Kan Ninghui, president of the Shanghai Century Publishing Group, says that although this year's book fair was smaller in scale, the core value of the event — promoting good books and quality publication — remained uncompromised.

Kan said that he was happy to see publishers and video bloggers livestreaming almost all the events during the 2022 fair. He says that the space of the Shanghai Book Fair has been expanded because of the interaction between online events and on-site participation.

Since 2008, Cui Junyou, deputy director of the Shanghai bureau of China Publishing Group, has attended the fair. The China Publishing Group has 23 publishing houses, all of which are based in Beijing. They brought in 3,000 new titles and held 13 activities at the fair this year.

On Tuesday, before the fair closed at 9 pm, 31 year-old Shi Weixin was given a certificate for being the last person to enter the fair. He received an invitation to be the first visitor to the fair next year.

My office is just off Yan'an Road, so every year I hop on a bus and take a stroll through the book fair, Shi, who bought a series of books about new scientific discoveries, told local media.

These books are quite heavy, so I had them delivered straight to my home, he says, adding that people can always find new discoveries at the fair.