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[Report From The Ground]: Shanghai Book Fair

Aug 17, 2018 | 12:00 Fri
Photos: Jin Qian
Book lovers unite! The annual feast of cheap books -- 20% off, at least! – has arrived: the Shanghai Book Fair kicked off on Wednesday at the Shanghai Exhibition Center. Beat the crowds; go at night.

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The layout hasn't changed much, with major publishers and bookstores grouped together, and English books relegated to the International Hall (booth: W7-1 to W9-1). It remains a great place to pick up discount bestsellers, like The Dark Tower series (150rmb here, usually 485rmb), and Yuval Noah Harari's Sapiens (68rmb). Art books go even cheaper, at 50-70% off. The hardcovers, like Taschen books, hover around 100rmb. New releases are rarer; I spotted only Jordan Peterson's 12 Rules for Life and Paul French's City of Devils.

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Penguin Random House, Sinan Book, and the Mix Place, on the other hand, have less mainstream books from authors such as Kazuo Ishiguro, Paul Beatty, and Eley Williams.

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For Shanghai-philes, Tongji University Press (W16-3) has a number of well-designed bilingual books about Shanghai's urban planning, architecture, and contemporary culture.

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Meanwhile, Shanghai International Literary Week is taking place around the city. Follow their WeChat (ID: guojiwenxuezhou) for info, though it’s all in Chinese. Authors taking part include Swedish historian Peter Englund, Mozambican Neustadt International Prize winner Mia Couto, and Álvaro Enrique.

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