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August 22, 2012

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Home » Metro » Entertainment and Culture

Book Fair tops records for visitors, revenues

THE Shanghai Book Fair concluded yesterday with record-breaking numbers in visitors and sales.

Despite unusually intense heat and storms, the annual seven-day event welcomed 320,000 visitors and rang up sales revenue of 60 million yuan (US$9.44 million), breaking last year's record of nearly 300,000 visitors and 54.7 million yuan in sales.

The Shanghai Press and Publication Bureau, the fair's organizer, introduced discounted delivery service and free Wi-Fi service at the main venue of Shanghai Exhibition Center for the first time in the fair's nine-year history. Organizers also learned from last year's satisfaction survey, providing more seats and reducing noise. The services are believed to have helped the satisfactory rate to climb to 99 percent from last year's 98.7.

Organizers also selected the 10 most influential books of the fair, based on sales numbers, media coverage and reader feedback. The list, which is not ranked, includes six domestic works and four imported ones, crossing genres and subjects.

Local Shanghai-based writer Chen Danyan's "Becoming Peace Hotel" attracted much attention during the fair with her in-depth and vivid exploration of the history and tales behind one of city's landmarks. "A Bite of China," a photo book about Chinese cuisines, was also listed.

"Steve Jobs," a best-selling book in the Chinese market in 2011, continued to sell strongly at the fair and is one of the four translated foreign books on the list. Historian Arnold Toynbee's "Mankind and Mother Earth: A Narrative History of World" also attracted many readers and made it to the list.

According to organizers' survey of nearly 500 readers at the fair, the largest group of visitors was students, representing 45 percent, while retirees followed at 18 percent. The respondents spent an average of 252 yuan on books.

The bureau also released a report on the reading habits of Shanghai citizens recently showing that 86.5 percent consider reading very important and 60 percent read to learn.


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