Over 560,000 people visited the 2015 Taipei International Book Exhibition during its six-day run, representing a growth of 10 percent in comparison to last year's attendance numbers.
New Zealand, the theme nation of the 2015 TIBE, sent a delegation comprising 80 writers, poets, artists, publishers, and performers. That figure upped the total number of exhibiting publishers to 682 at this year's edition, which featured over 700 book-signings, authors, and pavilions from 67 countries.
The bestselling children's book during the fair was 'Maps' by Aleksandra Mizielińska and Daniel Mizieliński, which sold 3,500 copies. A limited edition of 10,000 sets of products related to the books by Taiwanese light novelist Hu Hsuan (護玄) sold out at the fair, and Man Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton's award-winning novel 'The Luminaries' sold 1,200 copies, making it one of the best-selling items.
'This is really a thriving industry in spite of challenges from electronic reading materials,' stated President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), citing International Publishers Association statistics that put Taiwan's output of titles at 42,000 each year, or 1,800 titles per million people.
That puts Taiwan on par with Slovenia as the second highest-ranking country for books-per-capita, falling behind only the U.K., which publishes over 2,800 titles per million inhabitants, Ma added.
Taiwan is the most populous Chinese-speaking society still using traditional characters and 'we hope to maintain this tradition.' Traditional Chinese is also used in Hong Kong and Macau.
Culture Minister Hung Meng-chi (洪孟啟) also noted that the Ministry of Culture is currently working with independent bookstores to promote reading around the country: 'We hope independent bookstores will not remain only as places that sell books, but will become community cultural centers in the future.'
Hungary has been named the next theme country by Ministry of Culture Chief Secretary Hsiao Tsung-huang (蕭宗煌) at the closing ceremony on Feb. 16.