The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) this week said 920,000 people, both from the trade and the public, visited the 2010 Hong Kong Book Fair from, held July 21 to July 27, a 2% rise over 2009 attendance, as well drawing as a record 510 exhibitors from 22 countries. This year’s fair offered more than 250 cultural events under the theme “Reading the World, Writing the Future,” including author forums, an “English Avenue” highlighting books from 13 countries (double last year’s number); a Children’s Paradise pavilion, which included celebrity storytelling sessions, and a “Digital Word” section to “examine the impact of digital publishing on the industry.”

In addition, fair organizers commissioned an onsite survey, interviewing 815 visitors. According to the results: fiction is the most popular (54%) offering; and some 25% have purchased e-books with the mobile phone listed as the most popular device for reading. Organizers are hoping for an even larger turnout for the 2011 fair, which will be held from July 15-21. “The HKTDC Hong Kong Book Fair has grown from strength to strength over the past two decades," said HKTDC deputy executive director Benjamin Chau, cited the "The high quality of both English and Chinese writers appearing at the fair,” and the “growing importance of the fair as a premier cultural and literary event."