Thu, Jan 24, 2019 - Page 14 News List

Reading Germany

This year’s Taipei International Book Exhibition, which begins on Feb. 12, will focus on the German experience of transitional justice

By Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff reporter

Design studio Mistroom’s Huang Jui-i and Peng Yu-jui won a Golden Butterfly Award for Aroma Island.

Photo courtesy of Yiri Living

With a mix of nostalgia and urgency, the Taipei Book Fair Foundation will be hosting the Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE) next month.

“In the past, reading was a part of life that was necessary, but many people have forgotten,” says James Chao (趙政岷), the chairman of the foundation.

It’s no surprise, then, that the theme of this year’s exhibition, which opens at the Taipei World Trade Center on Feb. 12, sounds like a reminder: “Time for Reading.”


With Germany as the guest of honor at this year’s exhibition, 13 German writers, including defense attorney and crime author Ferdinand von Schirach, will be traveling to Taipei for the six-day affair.

Journalists Ronen Steinke and Lin Yu-li (林育立), who have both written extensively about transitional justice in Germany, will be holding a discussion titled “A New Understanding of the Past” at the German pavilion at 5pm on Feb. 13.

The German experience has become an essential reference for Taiwanese academics and politicians who are trying to envision Taiwan’s own path towards transitional justice, so it will be interesting to hear what is discussed at the event.

Digital technology has left no industry unscathed, but it has also presented exciting new opportunities for the publishing market. At this year’s Frankfurt Publishers Training Program, the sixth collaboration between the Frankfurt Book Fair and TIBE, industry experts will be speaking about the applications of artificial intelligence, audiobooks and hybrid and platform publishing.

Tickets to “Off the Page — from voice to platforms, from bundling to AI,” which takes place from Feb. 13 to Feb. 14, are NT$5,000 and can be purchased through


Appearances by world-renowned authors remain one of the main attractions of book fairs and TIBE is no exception. Over 13 years after the release of his best-selling novel, The Book Thief, Markus Zusak will be at the exhibition to promote his latest work, Bridge of Clay, the Chinese translation of which will be released on Friday.

Written by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga, The Courage to be Disliked took Asia by storm when it was published in Japanese in 2013. It became available in English last year. Kishimi will be speaking about the Adlerian psychology he helped to popularize at the exhibition’s Theme Square at 6:30pm on Feb. 15 and at 4pm on Feb. 16.

Counting this year’s selections, which were announced this month, Taiwanese illustrators have participated in the Illustrators Exhibition at Bologna Children’s Book Fair a total of 69 times. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first-ever selection of a Taiwanese illustrator for the Italian fair, TIBE will be exhibiting the works of 35 illustrators who have previously been selected.


In line with its efforts to encourage reading, especially among younger populations, the Taipei Book Fair Foundation has added a new category — children’s and young adult literature — to this year’s TIBE Book Prize, which recognizes books published in Taiwan between Nov. 1, 2017 and Oct. 31 last year.

The foundation is “not afraid of [giving] too many awards,” Chao said at the press conference, where the winners were announced.

The inaugural prize for children’s and young adult literature was awarded to life sciences professor Chen Chun-yao (陳俊堯) and comic artist Forest (Lin Chen-hung, 林振宏) for Bacteria: Best Friends Forever (值得認識的38個細菌好朋友), writer-illustrator Tang Mu-niu (湯姆牛, pen name for Liu Chen-kuo, 劉鎮國) for Calder the Artist (藝術家阿德) and best-selling children’s book author Jimmy Liao (幾米) for To Read or Not to Read, That Is My Question (不愛讀書不是你的錯).

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