Book fair shows draw of children's books, traditional culture

Updated: Jan 25, 2024 China Daily Print
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Readers browse books at the Beijing Book Fair on Jan 11. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Beijing Book Fair, held from Jan 11 to 13, reported a record high of over 100,000 visits as China's book market continues to thrive.

According to the annual report on the book market issued under the guidance of the Publishers Association of China and the Book and Periodicals Distribution Association of China, retail sales of books totaled 91.2 billion yuan (about $12.8 billion) in 2023, up 4.72 percent year-on-year.

Regarded as a trendsetter in the publishing industry, the fair featured 400,000 books from 720 exhibitors, drawing publishers, authors, and readers nationwide to the literary feast.

A livestream host introduces new releases during the fair. [Photo/Xinhua]

Cultural charm

In the almost 400 activities held during the book fair, numerous events spotlighting traditional culture and historical themes captivated readers.

Among them was the unveiling of a six-volume book series on Chinese culture, illuminating the cultural system through comprehensive coverage of literature, painting, calligraphy, music, drama, architecture, and aesthetics.

"Traditional Chinese culture is increasingly attracting the interest of young readers," says Nie Zhenning of the Guangdong Education Publishing House, publisher of the series. Nie expresses the hope that through its publication, more youthful vigor will be infused into traditional culture.

With a focus on introducing traditional culture to the youth, the Beijing Xiron Culture Group selected over 100 books tailored to young readers.

The line of traditional cultural products will be expanded to kindle even more interest from the younger generation, according to the company's Wei Ling.

Publications for kids

A diverse range of children's publications has revitalized the book market and become a feature of the book fair.

The annual report on the 2023 book retail market shows that China's book market has resumed growth, and that children's books account for the largest share at 27.21 percent.

Bringing a number of outstanding children's books to the fair, Lin Yun, head of the China Peace Publishing House, recognizes the intense competition in the children's publishing sector.

Lin says that children's publications should continue to provide proper guidance and contribute to the development of future generations.

"At the beginning of the new year, the book market has ushered in a good start, about which we are very excited," says Wu Shulin, chairman of the Publishers Association of China.

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