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Popular book fair draws a crowd on opening day
By Zhao Wen

THE Shanghai Book Fair has books for both young and old, for those seeking something serious or fun, as well as something historical or modern. In short, it’s got something for everyone.

Huang Weibing was among the first to enter the 10th annual Shanghai Book Fair as it opened another chapter yesterday.

The 63-year-old retired electrical engineer said he is a big fan.

“The book fair gets a new look every year, but it is not difficult to find something nostalgic for an old man like me,” Huang said.

Huang stopped and carefully observed a series of hand-drawn paintings in the main hall that depict old Shanghai scenes. They were created by 91-year-old Shanghai painter He Youzhi.

“Old people like to reflect on the past. It reminds me of the days when I was a young and carefree boy,” Huang said.

Huang said he was going to purchase the latest book by Zhu Rongji, China’s former premier.

The book is a collection of Zhu’s speeches, talks, correspondence and notes, as well as 83 pictures, when he was Shanghai’s mayor and Party chief between December 1987 and April 1991. Most of these documents have not been made public before.

“I think this is quite a special time for Zhu to release the new book. The book gives notice to some government officials to go out of their offices and listen to what people are saying,” Huang said.

Zhu’s book, which was released on Monday, was one of the best sellers at the book fair yesterday, according to cashiers.

Another best seller is the sixth edition of the “Whys,” a popular series that explains science to children.

Jiang Yibo, a 10-year-old boy, grabbed a copy of the physics edition of the “Whys” and told his mother he wanted one.

Li Yiming, a student at Donghua University, bought two books on health care for his grandparents while he said he was a fan of Japanese author Haruki Murakami. He and his friend also got a copy of “The Count of Monte Cristo” for only 2 yuan (33 US cents) during an event organized by publishers.

“This year’s festival has been improved as there is more interaction between readers, publishers and the organizers,” Li said. “I think the idea is really attractive.”

Li said he will also visit some booths with special offers in hope of finding good bargains.

The Shanghai Book Fair will be open daily from 9am until 9pm until August 20. A ticket costs 10 yuan in the day and 5 yuan after 6pm.

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