Books in bloom

Updated: 2014-08-21 15:25

By Zhang Kun(Shanghai Star)

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Books in bloom

More people visited the recently-ended Shanghai Book Fair than in previous editions.Gao Erqiang/Shanghai Star

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The 10th installment of the wildly successful Shanghai Book Fair has just come to a close, Zhang Kun reports on a publishing industry facing fresh challenges and readers presented with new choices.

The Shanghai Book Fair has received a record number of visitors, proving that no matter whether it is on paper or on screen, reading is still considered cool in the city.

The fair, which ran from Aug 13 to 19 at the Shanghai Exhibition Center, is now in its 10th year, and had no problems pulling a crowd. The organizers almost got a warning from the city police, because the crowds threatened to exceed the number permitted before public security becomes a concern.

In order to cater to the huge numbers, the fair had to extend its daily opening hours to 9 pm on weekdays and 10 pm on the weekend.

Guo Jingyang, a spokeswoman for the fair, said exhibitors and publishers all reported an increased number of visitors and sales volumes, though she declined to reveal official statistics.

"We need to focus on improving the value and the quality of the fair's events," Guo says.

More than 500 publishers brought 150,000 books—both paper and digital—to the fair. About 1,000 authors, scholars and celebrities presented 600 events.

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