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Bangkok International Book Fair 2023: A Global Literary Feast at Queen Sirikit Convention Centre

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Welcome to the heart of literary revelry in Bangkok! Nestled within the grand halls of the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre, the 22nd Bangkok International Book Fair and the 52nd Thailand Book Fair are unfurling their pages in a spectacular showcase that commenced this past Thursday and will continue to delight book enthusiasts until April 8. Spearheaded by Duangporn Sutthisomboon, the industrious vice president of the Publishers and Booksellers Association of Thailand (PUBAT), this event is etching an unforgettable chapter in the city’s cultural calendar.

Imagine strolling through an emporium where the world’s literary treasures converge under one roof. With 11 international publishers from the esteemed shores of Britain to the captivating landscapes of Taiwan, Japan, China, and the historic terrains of Ukraine, the fair boasts an impressive array of 18 booths. Each is a gateway to worlds unknown, with publishers sharing a singular belief that ignites their journey to Thailand – the conviction that Thai readers harbor a profound love for the tactile pleasure of flipping through real books, far beyond the appeal of their digital counterparts.

According to the ever-insightful Duangporn, there’s a palpable trend amongst Thai parents who avidly scour the fair for English-language books for their young ones, captivated not only by the enriching content but also by the surprisingly wallet-friendly prices. It’s a book-hunting adventure where quality meets affordability, much to the delight of families looking to build their home libraries.

Drawing particular intrigue is a booth, splendidly set up by a Taiwanese publisher, that’s become a beacon for Thai visitors. Here, children’s books blossom in bilingual beauty, presented in both Thai and Mandarin. What makes these books truly stand out, aside from the vibrant illustrations crafted by gifted Thai cartoonists, is the underlying story of cultural camaraderie. These publications are born from the generous support of the Taiwanese government, reflecting a heartfelt initiative to weave the cultural threads of Thailand and Taiwan closer together.

Adding another layer of allure to the fair is a collection of books published in Chinese, particularly capturing the imagination with boy-love novels translated from Thai. These tales of romance and intrigue have found a fervent audience, illustrating the diverse tastes and interests that the fair caters to.

On a note of anticipation, a British publisher shared his plans to grace next year’s fair with his presence once again, fueled by the enthusiastic response from the Thai readers. He’s not just returning to share more literary wonders but is also keen on diving into discussions at the Bangkok Rights Fair, seeking to forge new publishing collaborations with Thai publishing houses.

This melding pot of literary celebration, cultural exchange, and booming enthusiasm for the written word has transformed the Bangkok International Book Fair and the Thailand Book Fair into an essential rendezvous for book lovers, publishers, and cultural enthusiasts alike. As the pages of this year’s fair slowly come to a close, the promise of next year’s chapters bubbles with anticipation, promising even more stories to be discovered, shared, and cherished.


  1. BookWormBetty April 1, 2024

    I’ve always been a fan of book fairs but this idea that physical books are somehow better than digital ones is outdated. Convenience aside, digital books are eco-friendly and you can carry thousands on a single device.

    • PageTurnerPam April 1, 2024

      Totally agree! Digital is the way to go. Less paper means less environmental impact. Plus, it’s way easier to search for specific information in digital books.

      • NostalgicNed April 1, 2024

        But you’re both missing the tactile pleasure and the smell of a new book. Digital can’t replicate that.

      • BookWormBetty April 1, 2024

        I do get the tactile aspect, but isn’t it a small trade-off for convenience and eco-consciousness?

    • TraditionalTom April 1, 2024

      I can’t transition to digital. Holding a book, flipping through its pages – there’s a certain magic to it that pixels on a screen can’t provide.

      • TechSavvyTim April 1, 2024

        Magic is subjective. I find it magical to have my entire library accessible in my pocket. Different strokes for different folks.

  2. CulturalConnie April 1, 2024

    What impresses me is the initiative shown by Taiwan. It’s crucial to have such cultural exchanges, especially in today’s globalized world. This fosters mutual understanding and respect.

    • SkepticSam April 1, 2024

      Cultural exchanges are fine but isn’t there a risk of cultural dilution? I worry about preserving the uniqueness of each culture.

      • OpenMindedOllie April 1, 2024

        Sharing doesn’t mean diluting. Cultures have always exchanged ideas, and it’s how we grow and learn from each other.

  3. ParentalPaul April 1, 2024

    The focus on children’s books here is fantastic. It’s never too early to get kids into reading, and having affordable options is a huge plus for parents.

    • MinimalistMike April 1, 2024

      It’s great they’re focusing on kids, but are we encouraging consumerism by pushing for large home libraries? Can’t libraries serve the purpose?

      • ParentalPaul April 1, 2024

        Libraries are great, but there’s something special about owning a book. Plus, it’s not just about consumerism; it’s about creating a learning environment at home.

  4. RomanceReaderRita April 1, 2024

    Boy-love novels getting popular is a sign of changing times. It’s good to see diverse stories being embraced.

    • ConservativeCarl April 1, 2024

      I’m all for diversity, but I question the quality of some of these novels. It seems like it’s more about jumping on trends rather than true literary merit.

      • DiversityDana April 1, 2024

        Trends push boundaries and open doors for otherwise ignored voices. Quality is subjective and varies across genres and readers.

  5. LinguistLarry April 1, 2024

    The bilingual children’s books are a brilliant idea! Language learning should be encouraged from a young age, and this is a perfect way to do it.

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