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Saturday, 8 October 2011

Book Expo Thailand, 5-16 October 2011, Queen Sirikit Convention Center, Bangkok

Book Expo Thailand, 5-16 October 2011, Queen Sirikit Convention Center, Bangkok

Between the 5th and 16th October the Book Expo Thailand is being held at the Queen Sirikit Convention Center in Bangkok. Since we're in Bangkok right now, what better time than to visit right now?
After yesterday's trip to Dusit Zoo, today an indoors event on the schedule.

A map of the book expo and it's exhibitors

I was always under the impression that Thai people hardly read anything but comics. How wrong was I proven today! Not only was this massive expo for free, it was also jam packed with eager Thais, mostly younger but also older ones.

One of the many busy aisles

It was nice to see how many booths there where and all seemed to be busy, Everything possible was covered, plenty of children books, science, cooking, horror novels, cartoons (!) and you name it, it was all there!


All major Thai Universities have their own book publishers and they were all present at the expo.
All day long I only saw one more Westerner, besides myself. It must be a real good deal for the Thai readers, plenty of them showed up with small suitcases on wheels, so they could pack the many deals on offer away. However, for Westerners there wasn't much to be had, unless you can read Thai!

The Thai version of Harry Potter?

Plenty of real life size cartoon characters came passing by, including some Smurfs! I couldn't really make much out of what these two guys were trying to do, they got plenty of attention though and had many pictures taken of them. They look the part though!!

A wooden wall panel at the convention center

A quick word on the Queen Sirikit Convention center, it's named after Somdet Phra Nang Chao Sirikit Phra Borommarachininat (Thai: สมเด็จพระนางเจ้าสิริกิติ์ พระบรมราชินีนาถ; Literally: "Her Majesty Queen Regent Sirikit"; born Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyakara on August 12, 1932), who is the queen consort of Bhumibol Adulyadej, King (Rama IX) of Thailand. The convention center was opened by King Bhumibol Adulyadej and the queen on 29 August 1991.

The main hall and the compound are around 35,000 square meters, and the plenary hall can hold up to 5,000 people. The architecture is in a modernistic, Thai style and is reachable by a Subway station, very efficient indeed! We used this subway to get back to our hotel. Very convenient indeed.

A very interesting visit and it was good to be back at the convention center again and even more interesting was to see that Thai people do like their books! Now it's time to get ready for my Midnight Run, later today.

Camille

2 comments:

Andy said...

I once visited the Book Fair in April, same place, same big, and also almost only for Thai readers. However there were booths by White Lotus and Silkworm Books, which had quite some interesting deals as well - and it offered the possibility to browse through books which are not in display in any of the book stores as being too much special interest.

Camille said...

Hi Andy,

Maybe these publishers were attending but I didn't see them. It was fun nonetheless, to have seen it all!