Celebrities and not books are drawing in many of the crowd at
this year's Shanghai Book Fair which opened yesterday.
As well as the 100,000 books up for sale with a 20-percent
discount, the week-long fair features more than 200 lectures and
promotional activities, giving readers a chance to meet their
For the first time the fair is at the Shanghaimart, a
multi-storied building that looks from the inside like the famous
Shanghai Book City on Fuzhou Road. It also has cafes to relax in
though the prices are not designed for people on a budget.
Also for the first time fair organizers have set a 20,000 limit
on the number of visitors attending at any time.
While fans can be found on any of the seven stories, a crowd of
older fans gathered on the fourth floor yesterday to examine the
works of 96-year-old Qian Xuesen, the father of China's space
Elsewhere hundreds of school fans, shouting and waving, waited
for autographs from My Heroes star Wu Jianfei.
Right until next Tuesday visitors to the fair will have a chance
to meet other celebrities, TV presenters, writers, scholars,
dancers, pop stars, artists, language experts, doctors - even
perhaps read some books.
The fair's security guards reported that some visitors began
queuing to get in an hour before the fair opened and some students
were even in line for tickets four hours before the doors were
Yesterday an hour before the noted scholars Yi Zhongtian and Yu
Dan began their public discussion, there were hardly any vacant
seats in the hall.
Yi Zhongtian is a professor of Xiamen University who became
famous through his books and TV lectures on history, particularly
his analysis of characters during the Three Kingdoms (220-280). Yu
Dan is a noted academic at Beijing Normal University.
(Shanghai Daily August 16, 2007)