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Where Books and People Become Closer

2018 The Year of Books & The Seoul International Book Fair

 

2018.05.30

 

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Books read together, books read easily – 2018: The year of books

 

On March 22, South Korea's culture ministry designated this year as the year of books. It reflected the government's drive to boost falling reading rates in the country and the struggling publication industry. It was the first time in 25 years for the declaration to be made as the last time the government designated a year for reading was in 1993. To create a society that reads together, the government plans to launch various projects and programs in bookstores, libraries, provincial governments and on social media over the following year. The official slogan is "What book are you reading?" which uses a hashtag for easy marketing on social networking sites.

 

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Reading enjoyed anywhere, anytime

 

All the projects in the year of books will focus on 'reading together'. This is because many people in South Korea find themselves unable to read due to limitations from their busy lives despite knowing the importance of reading. As part of this goal, programs like “10 Minutes a Day of Reading Together”, “Midnight Bookstore Day” and “Traveling Bookstore” will be launched.
“10 Minutes a Day of Reading Together” encourages those in schools and offices to put aside at least 10 minutes a day for reading together. An award will be given to organizations selected from those that upload photographs to prove their participation in the reading campaign to the official website. “Midnight Bookstore Day” aims to show books go well with the darkness of night and will encourage the public to visit bookstores late at night on that day. The “Traveling Bookstore” program has book trucks that will visit readers here and there throughout the country in locations where books are not easily found, like near movie theaters or beaches. Not only will the trucks provide books, but various events will take place near it, like author meet-and-greets and performances.

 

Spreading the joy of books

 

Other campaigns using social networking sites catches the eye. “I'm a Booktuber” is an event where readers can upload videos that use books for a contest. These videos can be uploaded to their social media accounts and the user with the most likes can receive an award. The “With Book Campaign” is a similar competition where participants post a photo featuring a fun moment with a book on their social networking accounts. These events will be held to tear down any walls that might exist between the South Korean public and books. Officials hope they will also naturally shore up interest in books among the public. Various forums will be hosted to analyze the past and present of South Korea's publishing industry. One will be held each month with different themes and in October and November, international forums will be held with the themes 'The science of reading' and 'Curating the world with books'.

 

Tearing down walls between books, expanding genres - the 2018 Seoul International Book Fair

 

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The Seoul International Book Fair to take place during the year of books is expected to be more abundant. The 2018 Seoul International Book Fair will offer diverse programs with the theme, 'Expansion, New Definition' from June 20 to 24. Last year's international book fair saw a two-fold increase in the number of visitors compared to the previous year and this year's book fair is also expected to continue that trend. With that being said, this year's international book fair takes place in a bigger venue where dynamic programs will be in store.

 

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More book diversity

 

One characteristic of this year's international book fair in Seoul is the expansion of book genres. Electronic books have been designated as new books whereas previously they were eclipsed by paper books. Programs to seek new roads for the publishing industry like lectures and seminars by those already in the business will be held. Light novels, which were previously considered to be for students only, will also be introduced as a new book genre and a talk concert will be hosted to draw in new readers. As this year's theme focuses on expansion, other programs are being planned to expand the meaning of books and their genres.

 

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Other programs for the year of books

 

As the international book fair is being held in the year of books, other programs to encourage the public to read will be available. The “Reading Clinic” program will recommend books for readers while they will have an opportunity to meet with authors face to face. Its slogan? 'We prescribe books for you'. “Your Writing in One Book” will edit writing received everyday into an actual paper book. In addition to these, the “Reading Tip Competition” and other programs are being set up for those interested in growing closer to books during the year of books in South Korea. Those wishing to participate in programs can register on the official website while participants for some events will be drawn via lottery.

 

link  2018 Seoul International Book Fair Website : http://www.sibf.or.kr

 

 


Written by Jeon Jin-woo

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Jeon Jin-woo

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