Assured of an enriching time at expo

KUALA LUMPUR: It’s a bookworm’s favourite time of year – BookFest@Malaysia, the region’s largest trilingual book exposition, is back.

And this time, there’s more on offer in its 14th edition.

Organised by Popular Book Co (M) Sdn Bhd, the nine-day fair (June 1-9) will occupy more than 14,000sq m of exhibition space at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) and hopes to attract more than 700,000 visitors this year.

“Bookfest@Malaysia has come a long way since its inception in 2006 and it continues to perpetuate Popular’s lifelong mission of inculcating the love of reading in Malaysians from all walks of life,” said Popular Book executive director Lim Lee Ngoh at a press conference announcing the event at KLCC yesterday.

This year’s theme, “Assuredly Enriching”, ties in with Popular Group’s theme for its 95th anniversary this year, “Popular Assures”.

“For us, we think by making an effort, not just by bringing in so many products but also by organising many activities and events, the right word is enriching. Because once you’re assured, then you can be enriched,” Lim explained.

Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching, whose speech was read out at the press conference, emphasised the importance of inculcating the reading habit in Malaysians.

“Reading promotes many positive attributes to a person who is highly influenced by the reading habit,” she said.

Teo also said the theme of this year’s BookFest@Malaysia is in line with the Education Ministry’s “initiative to instil a love for reading in Malaysians”.

At this year’s fest, book enthusiasts can get their fix at the pavilions in KLCC offering books in three languages – English, Malay and Chinese – and also check out the Lifestyle Pavilion, which has proven to be a hit with BookFest@Malaysia visitors time and again, with its diverse stationery, toys, games and snack offerings.

The event will host nearly 790 booths comprising publishing houses and book distributors from across the Asean and Asia-Pacific region, as well as North America, Oceania and Europe.

Highlights include the Popular-The Star Readers’ Choice Awards that aims to encourage and acknowledge local authors, the very popular writing workshop that will focus on poetry this year, and the Hope for Reading Charity Campaign that gets books to underprivileged children.

The Gadgets & IT section in Hall 6 is also set to be a major attraction at this year’s BookFest@Malaysia, featuring the latest in electronics and electrical appliances and IT products.

There will also be a showcase of the funny slice-of-life American animated series for children, We Bare Bears, as well as the POP Culture Toy Fair with numerous collectible toys and figurines on display.

A large Iron Man figurine may even make an appearance!

The children’s colouring contest will once again make its rounds, as will author appearances and meet-and-greet sessions.

Other things to look out for include the TEDxKL-supported “People Power” forum addressing last year’s historic general election, feng shui talks, an art exhibition by Asia Illustration Society, and the official opening of the Taiwan Pavilion on the first day of the festival.

Book lovers can also enjoy daily specials on more than 500 products, with a selection of items tagged at extra low prices each day.

BookFest@Malaysia 2019 will take place from June 1 to 9 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Admission is with purchase of the BookFest guidebook at RM2.50 per entry or RM10 for multiple entries over the nine days. Guidebooks are available at all Popular and Harris bookstore outlets nationwide and also at the event’s entrance. Star Media Group Bhd is a media partner of BookFest@Malaysia 2019.


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