Jan. 30 Update: Prioritizing public health amid the global coronavirus outbreak, the Taipei International Book Exhibition, which was originally slated for Feb. 4-9, will be postponed for three months and be held May 7-12 instead.
Themed "New Horizons of Reading," the 2020 Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE)
will be held from Feb. 4 through 9 at the Taipei World Trade Center. Featuring South Korea as its theme nation, this new edition of TIBE also represents a transformation that will come with many "firsts" to sway booklovers.
Chen Ying-fang (陳瑩芳), director of the Ministry of Culture's Department of Humanities and Publications, pointed out that since last year, TIBE has shifted into an experiential book fair that offers a variety of innovative reading experiences through events, forums, and pavilions that adopt the featured theme.
The Children's Book Zone
will be located in Hall 1, marking a departure from past arrangements, Chen said. Moreover, attendees will have a chance to get a closer look at works by Lin Liang (林良) and Arlene Hsing (幸佳慧)
— two late authors of children's literature.
For the first time, the annual gathering for booklovers will see a pavilion organized by the Taichung-based National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts. With the theme "Taiwan Art History in the Comics," the pavilion aims to promote Taiwan's art history through comics and augmented reality (AR) — a technology that superimposes graphics or audio onto a user's view of the real world.
Among the highlights at this year's fair will be an interactive pavilion showcasing a collection of creative comics by the newly established Taiwan Creative Content Agency
, a government body designated to boost Taiwan's development in the cultural and creative industries.
Furthermore, visitors this year will be able to enjoy "LET'S GO: Explore Museums" — an exhibition aiming to showcase the publications of cultural institutions at the book fair. The joint effort by seven museums affiliated with the Ministry of Culture will also serve as the prelude event for World Book Day celebrations on April 23.
Also curated for the book fair is an exhibition for award-winning books and subsidized publications by young authors as well as prototype copies of their works. For attendees wanting to experience the combination of print, digital media, audio, and virtual reality (VR), there will be an exhibition called "The Shapes of e-Reading to Come" to offer reading experiences beyond ordinary levels and limits.
On the international literary front, the Korean pavilion will present the latest trends in Korean publishing and culture. Italy's pavilion
, on the other hand, will mark the centenary year of the late Italian film director Federico Fellini's birth by showcasing the cinematic talent's illustration works.
There will also be international pavilions
spotlighting the cultures of the European Union, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Argentina, Hong Kong, Japan, and Thailand.
Apart from book exhibitions, the annual fair will also stage forums on literary marketing, copyright licensing, and children's books. Additionally, the Ministry of Culture will team up with the Taiwan Association for Independent Bookshop Culture (台灣獨立書店文化協會) to hold a forum to address the circumstances that such bookstores are now under and how they can thrive again.
The forum, called "Sincerely, Bookstore," will feature publishers from across Asia such as Hong Kong bookseller Lam Wing-kee (林榮基), who is expected to open a book store in Taipei's Zhongshan District after the Lunar New Year holidays.
Both simultaneous sign-language interpretation and audio-to-text services will be made available at TIBE forums. Please contact the book fair organizers for further arrangements.
Meanwhile, to spread the joy of reading across the nation, the Ministry of Culture is increasing subsidies to cover transportation, accommodation, and miscellaneous expenses for students from rural areas to attend the book fair.
Now entering its 28th year, TIBE attracted 580,000 attendees in 2019.