Since 1987, Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE) has become the most vibrant annual book fair in Asia, highlighting democracy, liberty, and equity through showcasing published books. Due to the global pandemic, TIBE had to cancel the international book fair for the past two years. Finally, in 2022, between June 2nd and June 7th, the thirtieth Taipei International Book Exhibition took place: a total of 31 countries and 364 publishers from Taiwan and abroad took part in the global gathering. The total number of visitors went up to over 250 thousand people. The special exhibition “HELLO 30!” used the artistic design of a time capsule for visitors to look back on memories of the Taipei International Book Exhibition, as well as major publishing events from past to present.
HELLO 30! Time Capsule
During the exhibition, there were virtual meetings and live panels from authors, including Pierre Lemaitre, the Prix Goncourt prize winner; Chantal Thomas, the winner of Prix Fémina; Emmanuel Lepage, the winner of Angoulême International Comics Festival Prize for the Best Album; Éric Faye, the Grand Prix de littérature de l’Académie française winner; Ha Jin, an author whom most Taiwanese readers are familiar with, who is also the winner of America’s National Book Award; Jonathan Franzen, the one-and-only person who appeared at the cover of Times Magazine as “Great American Novelist” in the last four decades; Charles Yu, the very first Taiwanese American author who received America’s National Book Award, and Li Kotomi, the very first Taiwanese-Japanese writer who received affirmation from Japan’s Akutagawa Prize. Throughout six days of exhibition, over 500 panels took place with distinctive features. As part of the international intellectual industry exhibitions, Taipei International Book Exhibition made rich and diverse reading events happen, attracting young generations to gather during the weekend, making it a moving, vibrant landscape.
Virtual and Live Events (c) Taipei Book Fair Foundation
Faced with the severe spread of COVID-19 in Taiwan, on May 8th, the number of people testing positive within a day had reached 44,361 people, which was the highest record around the world on that day. Before the opening of the book exhibition, it was concerning if the exhibition would end up being extremely empty. However, the main organizer, Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture, offered twenty million New Taiwan dollars of book coupons: every reader who visited the book exhibition would receive a hundred-dollar book coupon. The strategy worked very efficiently, and over two hundred thousand coupons were distributed during the Taipei International Book Exhibition.
The most important highlight of this year is that France was the guest of honor for the fourth time: the sea of books that contained over 1,200 new titles, along with Proust’s handwritten manuscripts, Emmanuel Lepage’s illustration exhibition, voice economy forum, audio from famous authors’ readings, and more. There were a total of 52 full-house author conversations, translation workshops, French language classes, and comic concerts. The number of visitors proved that there was a reconciliation between attending in-person activities and preventing the spread of viruses.
Emmanuel Lepage’s Illustration Exhibition