Taipei Book Fair sharing the joy of reading

Tinashe Mushakavanhu
2 min readFeb 8, 2017
A poster for the 2017 Taipei International Book Fair Exhibition Photo: TIBE

Acclaimed artist Akibo Lee’s installation gives identity to the 2017 edition of the Taipei International Book Fair and Exhibition. It is a figurine formed by more than 2,000 donated books, which will be sent to far-flung areas within Taiwan with limited access to books after the fair ends. The piece of art stands as a metaphor for reading as a force of movement that can bringing about change.

The central exhibition at the Taipei book fair, curated by Te-ping Feng, director of Wenhsun Magazine, reviews the evolution of reading in Taiwan over the past 60 years.

Taiwan produces an average of 40,000 new titles annually. Translated titles remain a big portion of the market. However, the industry is in decline. The closure of many independent and smaller bookstores remains a major concern for many Taiwanese publishers.

While there will be historical introspection, other aspects of the fair will focus on innovative possibilities enabled by cutting-edge technologies, impact of e-books, online retailing and the changing reading habits.

This year’s book fair also includes for the first time second-hand and rare book areas, with a used book exchange activity during the five-day exhibition. Its reputation as one of the largest trade fairs in Asia is emphasised by the volume of interest and participation:

1,789 booths

621 exhibitors

450 events

59 countries

Taipei International Book Fair runs from February 8 to 13, 2017 at Taipei World Trade Center.