Are you searching for new book recommendations? The Nanjing Spring Book Fair just might give you some ideas. As the Nanjing summer heat grows near, the opportunity has arisen to find your new coffee companion, with the city’s annual book fair welcoming all to explore what is on offer on the literary scene this year.
The book fair is being held from today, 28, to 31 March 2019, in the Nanjing International Exhibition Centre. Over 100,000 people are expected to take part in this years’ event. As summer fast approaches, this is an ideal opportunity to pick up your next favourite best seller.
The 3-day event is packed with activities and events, including book signings, launches and interactions with well-known authors, such as children’s literary authors Shen Shixi, Can Wenfang, Ding Limei, Han Qingchen, as well as notable writers including Chu Fukin, Feng Hua, You Shicun, Can Jun and Wang Lang.
To match the growing popularity of reading in China, along the course of the festival a “Youth Good Book List” will be complied by selecting 40 literary works for Chinese college students to use for inspiration. To further promote the benefits of reading, the organisers will also be giving book vouchers to all the primary and secondary schools in Nanjing.
The motivation of this event is to encourage reading to be part of a vibrant book culture in the Nanjing community. As testament to this, event organisers have increased the exhibition area by 50 percent, this year covering 14,800 square metres. Along with the larger area, they have also embarked on expanding product variety and book categories by 30 percent, which will undoubtedly hold gems for those interested in all genres.
Research by the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication revealed that Chinese adults read on average 7.78 books in 2016, with young adults between the ages of 14-17 reading 11.57 books.
The figures fall far behind those in many western countries. Figures released by the Paris Book Fair indicate that the French read 15 books a year, while the figure for the USA is 12 books a year, according to pewinternet.org.
The Nanjing Spring Book Fair also aligns well with national political policy, through an initiative launched in 2015 that aims to increase the number of Chinese bookworms. While rates of literacy in China are respectable by many standards, still insufficient adults are regular enough readers.
With the aforementioned figures being averages, it means many a Chinese reads a lot more, while the Renmin University of China published a study in 2018 which revealed that nearly two-thirds of all Chinese over the age of 18 read no books whatsoever for leisure during the previous year.