KUALA LUMPUR: Book lovers, rejoice! The highly-anticipated annual BookFest@Malaysia is back.
Organised by Popular Book Co (M) Sdn Bhd, the largest trilingual book exposition in the country will throw open its doors to the public on Saturday at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC).
Now in its 12th edition, this year's theme, "Read More, Malaysia...Embrace The World", complements Popular's long-term goal of inculcating the love of reading among Malaysians.
It expands on last year's theme, which was simply "Read More, Malaysia", by exploring the benefits of reading.
"Reading opens the mind, it is the fastest way to attain knowledge. It sharpens our thinking, it broadens our awareness. We encourage parents to motivate their children to read at home because we believe it is the one thing that can change people's lives," Popular Holdings Limited chairman Desmond Wee said in his keynote address at the official opening of BookFest@Malaysia on Friday.
Despite the onslaught of e-books and e-bookstores, he shared that Popular remains as committed as ever to its goal of instilling a love for reading among Malaysians.
"At Popular, we give back to society by inculcating in them the love for reading. This is something that will never change," he added.
This year's BookFest@Malaysia hosts 678 booths featuring publishers and distributors from Malaysia, as well as from Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States.
"Reading has always been the core method of acquiring knowledge. A well-read individual will invariably influence those around him or her, and a well-educated society continues to improve and advance because its people are well read," said Deputy Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun in her speech.
She added that parents play a pivotal role in helping children shape their future and that a love for reading will serve them well.
"If you are looking for great quality reads, BookFest@Malaysia is your platform," she said.
The nine-day book exposition encompasses an area of 12,356sq m, with three pavilions dedicated to English and Malay titles, Chinese reading material, and a Lifestyle Pavilion offering stationery, gadgets, IT products and snacks.
An impressive line-up of events and activities are also part of BookFest@Malaysia, with highlights such as writing workshops, author meet and greet sessions, feng shui talks, colouring competitions, cooking demonstrations and trivia contests.
Present at the BookFest@Malaysia official opening were the Star Media Group group chief operating officer Calvin Kan, Star Media Group content development chief operating officer June H.L. Wong, Star Media Group chief revenue officer Lim Bee Leng, and Star Media Group advertising and business development senior general manager Chin Seow Ping.
Also present were Popular Book Co (M) Sdn Bhd executive director Lim Lee Ngoh, Popular Holdings Limited group chief executive officer Chou Cheng Ngok, Sin Chew Media Corporation Bhd chief executive officer and executive director Koo Cheng, Sin Chew Media Corporation Bhd group chief operating officer Tan Chee Yuen, and director of the Department of Humanities and Publications in the Ministry of Culture (Taiwan) Chu Jui Hao.
BookFest@Malaysia 2017 opens from 10am to 10pm from Saturday to July 2.
Admission is with purchase of the BookFest catalogue at RM2.50 per entry or RM10 for multiple entries over the nine days.
Catalogues are available at all Popular and Harris bookstore outlets nationwide and will also be sold at the event's entrance.
Entrance is free for students aged 18 and below and senior citizens aged 60 and above.
For more information, visit facebook.com/BookFestMalaysia.
The Star Media Group is a media partner of BookFest@Malaysia 2017.
Did you find this article insightful?