The Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair 2020 (KLIBF), which opens on June 25, will proceed with all its programmes held online.
National Book Council of Malaysia director Mohd Khair Ngadiron says this move is to ensure the continuity of reading and book retail activities through the recovery movement control order (RMCO) period.
“The whole book industry here has been hit badly. Every part of the (book) ecosystem is feeling the pinch. The first MCO started only nine days before the planned KLIBF 2020, which was supposed to be on March 27,” says Mohd Khair.
“This resulted in a large amount of stock being stacked in warehouses. Since this greatly affected the cash flow of all involved, we had to quickly think of an avenue to move the stocks. Hence, the birth of KLIBF online, the first and biggest virtual book fair in the country,” he adds.
KLIBF 2020 will be held from June 25 to July 8 on local e-commerce platform Shopee. According to its social media, the fair will see over 140 booksellers involved, with over 30,000 titles available, most heavily discounted.
First established in 1981, the KLIBF has offered countless titles to Malaysian book lovers every year. It is organised by the Ministry of Education through the National Book Council of Malaysia, in association with nine other Malaysian book organisations. Since 2013, KLIBF regularly attracts more than two million visitors annually.
“For the past 38 years, the physical KLIBF has mostly been enjoyed by only people in the Klang Valley. Thanks to our strategic partner Shopee, now KLIBF can be enjoyed by everyone throughout the nation,” says Mohd Khair.
Mohd Khair hopes Malaysian book lovers will support the virtual version of KLIBF.
“With this digital initiative, we hope readers will head online and enjoy this fair in the comfort of their homes. Most importantly, they can also do their part to curb the pandemic by supporting our campaign of #DudukRumahBacaBuku,” he adds.
Mohd Khair mentions that one of this year’s highlights is a special microsite, which includes 50 featured books.
Book lovers can visit the online version of Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair 2020 here.
Kuala Lumpur is also the current Unesco World Book Capital.
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