Popular fair an open book
The annual festival of reading comes with an inspiring theme for a recovering world city.
29 June 2021
As a cosmopolitan city with a thoroughly educated, well-travelled and world-wise population, Hong Kong has many voracious readers eager to stock up their bookshelves. A highlight in any Hong Kong bookworm’s calendar is the city’s annual festival of literature, the HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair, which is returning soon.
The 31st HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), will run from 14 to 20 July (Wednesday to Tuesday) at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).
This year’s event has received an enthusiastic response from participating organisations, with more than 700 exhibitors expected to deliver a wide selection of cultural activities and leisure experiences over the week of the fair, which runs together with the HKTDC Hong Kong Sports and Leisure Expo and the debut World of Snacks.
During the fair period and the citywide Cultural July campaign, more than 600 online and offline cultural events will be organised, including thematic exhibitions at the Art Gallery at the HKCEC and seminars hosted by acclaimed writers, bringing the joy of reading to the whole city.
The theme of this year’s Book Fair is “Inspirational and Motivational Reading”, with the tagline “Reading the World ‧ Inspiring the Mind and Refreshing the Soul”.
“The Hong Kong Book Fair Cultural Events Advisory Panel has picked this meaningful theme with the hope that the fair can encourage readers to seek out motivational books that can inspire a more positive lifestyle,” said HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau.
“Running in tandem with the Book Fair, the Sports and Leisure Expo and World of Snacks will showcase diverse lifestyle experiences and snacks from across the globe. Together, these three events can help people declutter their minds and live more rewarding and fulfilling lives.”
In line with this year’s Book Fair theme, the HKTDC will showcase a thematic exhibition, “Words to Warm the Heart”, at the Art Gallery. The exhibition will introduce a number of inspirational authors and some of their selected works, including A Nong, Cheng Kok-kong, Lee Chack-fan, Philemon Choi, Wu Yin-ching, Shirley Loo, Agnes Chan, Joseph Sung, Su Hei and Rap Chan. Memorabilia from the authors will be on display, including manuscripts, calligraphy artworks and souvenirs, helping readers to appreciate the writers’ creative journeys from different perspectives.
The Art Gallery will also feature a number of other exhibitions. “Cherished Memories of the Children’s Paradise” will display rare copies and illustrations from different eras of the popular kids’ magazine Children’s Paradise. “The Dragon Never Dies – Bruce Lee @80”, organised with the support of the Bruce Lee Club, brings together Bruce Lee memorabilia from collectors, providing visitors with the opportunity to revisit some of the legendary kung fu star’s iconic moments.
Another exhibition, Hong Kong Palace Museum, will introduce the innovative approaches taken to showcase precious exhibits from the Palace Museum and other renowned institutions.
Broad range of literature
The “Eight Seminar Series” returns to the Book Fair in 2021, continuing to promote the joy of reading by exposing readers to authors and works from a diverse range of literary genres. The Renowned Writers Seminar Series, co-organised with Mingpao and Yazhou Zhoukan, makes a welcome return, while other featured series include “Theme of the Year: Inspiring the Mind and Refreshing the Soul”, the English and International Reading Series, World of Knowledge, Children and Youth Reading, Spiritual Growth and Personal Development, Lifestyle and the Hong Kong Cultural and Historical Seminar Series. More details of the seminars and featured speakers can be found here.
Sports and Leisure Expo
This year’s Sports and Leisure Expo will cover a broad range of sports and leisure brands, products and services. In addition to the 10 existing themes, the expo features the new Travel Excursion zone, showcasing exciting outdoors activities such as diving, stand-up paddle-boarding, rock climbing and geo-tours. A range of free trials and demonstrations will be offered at the expo, including a lion dance performance run by the Hong Kong Chinese Martial Arts Dragon and Lion Dance Association, a pickleball taster session from the Asia Elite Sports Association, and a speed-stacking experience coordinated by the Hong Kong Sport Stacking Association. In addition, local rugby players Salom Yiu and Sham Wai-sum, freestyle football player Tony Ma and other Hong Kong sports stars will take part in a series of celebrity-sharing sessions and performances, livening up the expo with their impressive skills.
Visitors who prefer more sedentary pursuits can participate in a series of activities such as photography workshops and table-top games. At the Discover Poland through Board Games activity, Aleksander Danda, Poland’s Consul General in Hong Kong, will introduce traditional Polish table-top games and Polish culture through interactive game sessions.
World of Snacks debuts
Making its debut, the World of Snacks will feature six thematic zones: Travel Delights, Chocolate and Sweet Factory, Oldie Snacks, Yummy & Healthy, Party Time and Snack Bar, bringing together more than 1,000 popular treats from across the globe. International snacks on offer include prawn crackers delivered directly from Japan by HT Mall; famous Taiwan souvenir snacks HiWalk and PAH JI HUE` from Taiwan Gift Baskets; Chupa Chups Mega Chups limited edition, usually only available at airports, from Sweet Dreams by Heinemann; coconut candies from Yan Chim Kee; Chicago-style Garrett Popcorn; Minor Figures nitro cold brew latte; Eat Real sea salt hummus chips; Hart Sacha salted inchi; organic unsalted cashews; and a wide selection of natural, additive-free and highly nutritional snacks. Exciting activities include the lollipop bouquet workshop, handmade rock candies workshop and a taro pastry demonstration.
The HKTDC Education and Careers Expo will be held at the HKCEC from 15 to 18 July, running in parallel with the Book Fair. Youngsters and jobseekers can access the latest useful information on education and career opportunities for their life planning at this one-stop event. Admission to the expo is free of charge.
Vaccination incentive campaign
In support of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government’s “Early Vaccination for All” campaign against the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of Book Fair booths will offer various incentives to visitors who have been vaccinated, including book discounts and giveaways, cash vouchers and gifts. Additionally, the HKTDC will offer 35,000 free admissions to vaccinated visitors, available in daily quotas and on a first-come-first-served basis. More details can be found on the Book Fair website or mobile app.
On-site hygiene enhanced
The well-being and safety of exhibitors and visitors will be the top concern at the Book Fair. Various preventive measures will be put in place, with all on-site staff and exhibitors required to present a negative COVID-19 nucleic acid test result or a record of receiving two COVID-19 vaccination injections in order to enter the fairground. All fair visitors need to record their entry date and time using the LeaveHomeSafe mobile app or by filling in a record form. Eating, drinking and food tasting within the venue (including booth areas) are prohibited except in designated eating areas. Other safety measures include setting up temperature-screening stations, providing hand sanitiser and disinfection items at multiple locations around the HKCEC, and stepping up cleaning and disinfection at the venue.
To ensure a more even flow of visitors throughout the day, the HKTDC will introduce morning admission tickets, night admission tickets as well as a special re-entry promotion. Physical ticket sales will not be available at the fairground to avoid the use of cash and minimise contact. Visitors can pay with Octopus cards at the entrance’s toll booths to gain entry.
Alongside the Book Fair, the HKTDC is collaborating with numerous cultural and educational institutions, libraries, museums, shopping malls, cafes and bookstores to organise a broad range of cultural events running from late June to end of July as part of the Cultural July – Joyful Summer Reading citywide campaign. The campaign promotes reading as a step to nurture the flourishing cultural movement in the city. The HKTDC has also set up a Cultural Journey Online webpage on the Book Fair website, offering e-reading resources, seminars and exhibitions to help users deepen their cultural knowledge.
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