Mathilde HK at Hong Kong Book Fair

You like reading novels, essays, biographies?

You never have enough books to read ?

You want to find material in both Chinese and English?


Hong Kong Book Fair 2014, @

On Saturday, I went to the annual Book Fair of Hong Kong, at the Convention and Exhibition Center. The first edition took place in 1990 and this year 2014 was the 25th edition of an event gathering thousands of eager readers and students. In comparison to the Foire aux Livres in Paris, that fair is a major event: the number of attendance is raising every year, approaching a million visitors lately. Created by the the Hong Kong Publishing Federation, the fair offers a good opportunity to editors, booksellers, writers, e-learning programs and academics to promote their works. The exhibition halls are open quite late in the evening, up to 10 or 12 p.m. and visitors are invited to register for talks and autograph sessions taking place everyday. That year, the fair promoted about 300 cultural events.


I heard of the fair by a Hong Kong Friend: Tracy. We went together to the HKCEC, following a crowd that I would not have expected. We queued for 20 minutes before entering the fair. We first visited the stationery stands that had huge promotions and a wide rank of top quality products. As for the books pavilions, the Books were mainly in Chinese and they were only a few westerners in the public. However, the English section called English Avenue was large and I found many books on Chinese history at a very low price.


The 2014 Book Fair Exhibition:  ‘The Hong Kong Story: A Century of Books’

For the 25th edition, the organizer launched an exhibition on the Evolution of Printing in Hong Kong that was rather interesting to understand the importance of Hong Kong for the development of  printed literature in Chinese or China. There are three main publishers still in activity in Hong Kong nowadays: The Commercial Press, settled in Central in 1914, Chung Hwa Book Company established in 1933 and joint publishing HK founded in 1948. Besides those great companies, many foreigners or China-based publishers settled in Hong Kong.

The exhibition was divided into 8 sections focusing on the development of publishing companies in Hong Kong during the XXth century.  Textbooks, gazettes, magazines, books and novels were printed in Hong Kong and then distributed to Mainland China after the revolution. In the 1980s, Hong Kong had adopted a very modern printing technology while the book industry was blooming. Hong Kong became then the second largest printing products port of export in Asia. While the publishing industry was decentralized from Mainland China to Hong Kong during the post Second World War period, things happened to be reversed after 1980s and more and more printing factories established their premises back in Mainland China for economical purposes. The digital printing facilities are now transforming the Hong Kong printing industry while e-books and e-learning technologies started to have a huge success. I discovered then that Hong Kong is a huge market for publishers and that people here are real book amateurs.

My selection of titles:

The Opium War by Julia Lovell. An account on the first Opium War in China.

Dominion by C.J. Sansom. An historical thriller in 1950s Britain.

Empress Dowager Cixi by Jung Chang. A biography of the last Empress of China.


Topics and Keywords:

Solo: topics to focus on

Printing industries, book fair, readers, novels, books, autographs, school textbooks, cultural events, HKCEC, digital printing.

Combo: on the same topic

Shanghai Book Fair 2014 – 1 to 10 August 2014
Shanghai Exhibition Center


Hong Kong Book Fair

Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center – Wan  Chai

16 – 22 July 2014

16-17 July 2014 (Wed-Thur) 10am-10pm
18-19 July 2014 (Fri-Sat) 10am-12 midnight
20-21 July 2014 (Sun-Mon) 10am-10pm
22 July 2014 (Tue) 9am-5pm







One thought on “Mathilde HK at Hong Kong Book Fair”

  1. May we receive additional pictures and highlights on the most valuable pieces? It would be great to see how HK turns to become a significant place to be for art and more specifically for ceramics

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