TiBE 台北國際書展 2025.2.4-9

Catch the Reading Wave: 2024 Taipei International Book Exhibition Draws 550,000 Visitors

2024年03月04日 / 2024TIBE

After welcoming 550,000 visitors over six days, the 32nd Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE) concluded on February 25. This year, 509 publishing houses from 34 countries, including 654 international guests, participated in the proceedings. Among them, 266 international rights agents visited Taiwan, attending a combined 1,910 meetings, more than triple the number from 2023, demonstrating Taiwan’s heightened international stature. Overall attendance soared—boosted by Culture Points and ticket-price discount coupons—with publishers expressing delight and numerous VIPs showing their support for the industry.

International media, exhibitors, and professionals were profoundly impressed both by the Taipei International Book Exhibition itself and by the participation and response of the Taiwanese readers, with Taipei Book Fair Foundation Chairperson Isabella Wu afterward stating that the exhibition has ignited a nationwide enthusiasm for reading. Clearly, in the years since the COVID-19 pandemic downturn, interest, sales, and demand have increased significantly, while copyright transactions have surged, signaling a promising outlook for the rights negotiation sector.

To promote author-reader interaction, various activities were organized at the fair, with over 1,162 reading events and high attendance in every salon. Ever-inclusive of young readers, the number of student-teacher groups coming through TIBE’s doors was three times higher than last year, revealing a thriving and keenly engaged reading culture. News media from around the world showed considerable interest in the exhibition, with one journalist expressing admiration for its diverse activities and impressive booth designs, both of which showcased publishers’ dedication and devotion to their readers.

Minister of Culture Shih Che emphasized two important measures in effect this year: ticket-price discount coupons and the use of Culture Points, a new cash handout initiative aimed at increasing young adults’ participation in cultural events. After several days at the book fair, it was evident to all that Culture Points had had the desired positive effect, with more young people attending than ever before. This boost neatly aligns with a broader industry aspiration to engage the next generation with books, allowing them to develop a long-term relationship with reading, which will ultimately revive the publishing sector.

International media continued to praise TIBE’s outstanding program, its inspiring dialogues, and its many discussions. First-time visitor to the fair, Mr. Choi Won-hyung, a journalist for Korea’s The Hankyoreh newspaper, stated, “Taiwan's unique openness and inclusivity, where various cultures and old and new things coexist, makes it a market of interest not only for Korea but for the entire global publishing industry.” And Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives, attending TIBE for a third time, praised the excellent professional forums, which were this year—in keeping with global trends—focused on AI and IP. With the active participation of the Taiwanese publishing industry and a succession of compelling questions, these events sparked no end of fascinating debates regarding the future of publishing.

The Guest of Honor for TIBE 2024 was the Netherlands, which sent a 27-member delegation that included eight authors, four publishers, and an exhibition space showcasing 300 books, historical replicas, and the beloved Miffy. The Guest of Honor exhibition featured 47 literary seminars, historical discussions, and engaging workshops comprising 12 Dutch and 30 Taiwanese speakers and bands.

This year’s international section featured 242 publishers and 262 exhibitors, with 46 authors participating in 55 events. The number of business meetings held in the International Zone and Rights Center reached a record high of 1,532. Similarly, the fellowship program, which brought together buyers, editors, copyright agents, translators, and book scouts from 18 countries, organized 378 rights meetings throughout the book fair.

Elsewhere in the exhibition, the “Future Forest” Digital Pavilion attracted over 7,000 participants, exceeding every expectation. People of all ages wrote down ideas in three-minute sessions, collaborating with AI to create e-books of their personal stories.

The “School Group Visiting TIBE Program,” targeting students at all levels, was a huge success, with 358 groups and 11,611 participants engaging in alternative extracurricular activities across eight thematic areas. The first 100 registered groups received NT$1,500 in book purchase vouchers, promoting book sales while enhancing students’ cultural engagement. The program gave students a hands-on experience of the exhibition, familiarizing them with the Taiwanese publishing industry as well as international cultures through visits to pavilions from the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Thailand, and elsewhere; it was indeed a paradise for reading!

To finish, the 2024 Taipei International Book Exhibition, “Catch the Reading Wave,” was a remarkable success. The increases in attendance, sales, worldwide participation, and rights meetings each reflect Taiwan’s growing prominence, both on the global stage and within the transnational network of publishing industries. The energetic response from local and international audiences alike underscores the exhibition’s vital impact in fostering a vibrant reading culture and promoting literary exchange. Looking ahead to future fairs, TIBE’s commitment to advancing literacy, cultural exchange, and intellectual dialogue remains firm, as does Taipei’s position as a premier destination for book enthusiasts worldwide.