Taipei Book Fair Feb. 11-16

I want to go. never been there. is it a worthwhile event?

Nigerian Nobel winner Wole Soyinka will read poetry this year, I heard, and some Czech puppet masters will do a puppet show with some local people from Taipei, but I heard that the world trade center is always too crowded to really enjoy the fair, huge crowds. Anyone ever been there and what’s the best way to see it?

And how to get free admit tickets? What is price of admit?

My gf said it’s just a big bookstore thronged with college students looking for bargains. She went once and said she’d never go again. But I want to try. Any suggestions or good points about it?

Poagoa, will your new book in Chinese be shown there? Maybe that’s a good reason to go …

I’m a big fan of the Taipei Book Exhibition and go every year. But reports of the crowds are not exagerrated.

The best way to see it is to get an exhibitor’s pass and go before the show opens to the public. That way it’s not so crowded. Then go back another day to buy what you spotted earlier. (Things usually aren’t for sale during the non-public days.) But getting an exhibitor’s pass requires guanxi and a good back door. Alas, I failed to work my contacts earlier, so I may actually have to pay this year and go during the busy days. :frowning:

Here’s a thread from last year’s show:

Does anyone have more details or know of a website showing this year’s schedule? The public readings sound interesting…


I went once and found it disappointing. Admittedly, I got there late in the event, many of the booths looked like they had been picked over and were in disarray, the exhibitors appeared tired, and it was very crowded. But, I also found the selection disappointing–I felt it was 90% learning english and making money books (I was new to Taiwan and may not have realized yet that the same is true of local bookstores). And it seemed to be geared more towards owners of schools or bookstores than to the general public. Don’t they let the masses in at the end, as an afterthought, to clean out some of the remaining stock? It seemed that way. But, I did come away with a Norton anthology of literature (for a newbie with nothing to read that was great). Nonetheless, based on that one experience I think I’d have more fun browsing at Eslite. But everyone should probably try it once.

ALLEYCAT: you’ll be working there, won’t you? What are your thoughts on it?

tibe website


alleycat, where will you be working? control booth?

Formosa, your link illustrates my point. The first two special features they list are comic artists (“comics have been an important fact of Taiwan’s cultural diversity for sometime now.” sic) and maximizing your profits – forget about fine art and literature, or even interesting books.

Reminds me of when a local art teacher took me to a show of local children’s art. Ninety percent of it was faithful reproductions of Hello Kitty and other comic characters. Most disappointing. But lots of red and blue ribbons were awarded to the most successful copiers, and parents were milling about, proudly beaming at their children’s talent.

I agree with MT about the selection. In English, it’s very limited. But I go every year nonetheless because with its sheer size, there’s always a few curiosities to find. But you’ll spend a long time looking. I always avoid the crowds and go on the not-open-to-public days - it seems to be easier for the staff to let a non-Chinese speaking foreigner in than to explain to him why he can’t :wink:

another thread here

Aisle by aisle, it seems to have the best looking women ever! If nothing else, go for the girls!

I went and pretended to be an important journalist and so got a free pass from the very accomodating young ladies at the front door, and then I had a quick look at Wole, who was able to speak for a few moments before the local professors started babbling in Chinese…

The fair is great. Huge. I bought a few new maps of the roads north and south-east of Taipei… I left feeling really depressed, seeing all those beautiful books, and none of them mine…

When are the public days? Anything worth finding for English-speaking kids? And are kids allowed in? How about Christian books?

Today, tomorrow, and Sunday.

I’m not certain you’ll find anything for kids at the show that you wouldn’t be able to find in stores. But what you do find will be cheaper.

I can’t imagine that they wouldn’t be.

One of the Hong Kong companies has a lot of Christian books. I’m sure other places do, too.

Thanks Cranky.