The Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF), the third largest in the world after Frankfurt and London, is hosting its 23rd annual session at the China International Exhibition Center, Shunyi from August 24-28. According to the recent China Daily article, there will be 2,407 publishers, domestic and international, attending the fair, along with 2015 Nobel Prize winning author Svetlana Alexandravna Alexievich.
Furthermore, the article mentioned that for the first time in the history of the book fair, representatives from the film and television industries will be attending, with a goal of further integration of the news and movie industries. Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) will also be attending the fair as the Guest of Honor, another first for the book fair.
Fear not if you cannot find the time to attend the actual book fair, because from August 20 to September 1, 10.30am to 9pm everyday, there will be literary salons free to the public hosted by the BIBF in the China International Exhibition Center,Shunyi, at 88 Yuxiang Road. You can find details and posters for the BIBF’s various literary events here (Chinese).
It has been 30 years since the establishment of the BIBF, and this year as with past years, tens of authors are brought together from across the world in Beijing to participate in literary salons with the city’s readers, to further literary discourse and international communication across borders, facilitate greater cultural understanding, and bring like-minded, literary inclined, book-lovers closer together, as Douban‘s event description describes the mission of the book fair.
If you’re someone who loves an afternoon curled up with a novel and a cup of tea (or coffee, or whatever it is that you like to drink), then you’ll understand the magic one experiences at being whisked momentarily (which could mean hours on end) into another world, another time, another context in which to be alive. The insurmountable distance created by time and space can be bridged effortlessly once shrunken into the distance between a reader’s eyes and the inky words printed on a smooth textured, familiar smelling page, and through those eyes between a reader’s curious, grasping mind and the narrative unfolding between the book’s leaves. If this sounds familiar, if this is a spell that you’ve fallen under before, then take this opportunity to meet authors and readers all in one place, in Shunyi, in Beijing, as this summer draws to an end.