Hong Kong bookfair 2009

So I was at the Hong Kong Book Fair for the first time, at least in its current format, even though it has been running for twenty years. I wasn't there to buy books for I knew that cheaper versions of many books are available across the border in Shenzhen. On occasion I attended three seminars which were quite interesting. The first one dealt with comics and popular culture, with special reference to Japanese culture. The second focused on a few photographers and their work, with converging themes on changing city landscape in Hong Kong, gentrification, urban renewal and redevelopment, and the loss of landmarks or structures of sentimental values to local HongKongers. The third one was on social entrepreneurship, it wasn't so ,uch on the books, but I am quite sure something published was promoted at the bookfair. Half of the discussion focused on BiCiLine, an intervention project at Tin Shui Wan supported by Tung Wah Group of Hospitals.

Apart from the talks, I was quite astonished that my friend and I had to wait 20 minutes to get into the venue, given it was an ordinary Monday, even though schools are on summer vacation.
Some books in simplified chinese were marked up and then discounted, Ibet many unsuspecting customer fell victims to that, if they never if ever venture out to Shenzhen for procuring them. Political boundaries still make the books available and read by people of three different administrative regions of Hong Kong, Taiwan and mainland of People's Republic of China, very different, at times with little overlapping. Books I found red hot and talk of the town everywhere in mainland China were available at a few of the booths selling simplified books, but still they mostly collected dust instead of finding a new owner. There are books tackling the very local Hong Kong (popular) culture including slangs, Cantonese as well as the dissatisfaction with the Cheif Executive. There were some interesting Taiwanese books, but given the fact I have been spoiled by dirt cheap books in the mainland, I did not really look into the Formosa offerings.

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