Convention + Exhibitions
More than 1 million reading enthusiasts are expected at the 27th annual Hong Kong Book Fair, which seems to get bigger and better each year. To put that figure into perspective, the city's population is 7,235,043.
Hong Kong Book Fair in 2014. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.
Hong Kong Book Fair
More than 1 million bibliophiles attended last year's Hong Kong Book Fair, with spending up fully 25%! An even larger crowd is expected this year.
To paraphrase Mark Twain, news of the death of books has been greatly exaggerated. At least that is what the massive attendance figures at Hong Kong's annual Book Fair seems to suggest.
At a time when bricks and mortar bookshops are closing their doors right and left – and when more and more bibliophiles are switching from paper to digital formats – the strong attendance is a bit surprising.
Despite inclimate weather, last year's event attracted a record-breaking crowd of 1.1 million attendees. Will even more people attend this year's event?
"The enduring success of the Hong Kong Book Fair is a sure sign of Hong Kong people’s thirst for knowledge and appetite for a good story," says Benjamin Chau, Deputy Executive Director of the Hong Kong Trade Development Council.
"The Book Fair has become a not-to-be-missed summer event for the public and for the industry.”
An estimated 120,000 of last year's 1.01 million attendees, or 12%, were not from Hong Kong, with most of them coming from China, Macau, and Taiwan. But there were also a signficant number coming from Britain, Korea, Singapore, the United States, and other places.
Fully one-half of the non-resident attendees said that attending the book fair was their primarily reason for visiting Hong Kong. The main reason for attending the fair was to buy books that were not available at home.
Book Fair Tips
If you haven't been to the Hong Kong Book Fair before, here are a few tips:
- Arrive early – the crowds will amaze you;
- Avoid weekends – it only gets worse;
- Bring a suitcase with wheels – that's what everyone else does;
- Examine the maps first – you'll want to plot our course;
- Have books delivered – a delivery service to addresses throughout Hong Kong is available.
- Wednesday + Thursday (15 – 16 July) – 10 am – 10 pm.
- Friday + Saturday (17 – 18 July) – 10 am – 12 midnight.
- Sunday + Monday (19 – 20 July) – 10 am – 10 pm
- Tuesday (21 July) – 9 am – 5 pm.
There are quiet places to relax if the crowds get to you. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, 1 Expo Drive, Wanchai, Hong Kong. Fair Website: Hong Kong Book Fair
The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre is within walking distance of the Wanchai MTR station. It is a short taxi ride from Admiralty, Central, SoHo, Sheung Wan, Western, Causeway, Happy Valley, and other points on Hong Kong Island.
Have you ever been to the Hong Kong Book Fair? What advice do you have for first time visitors to the fair?
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