Over a hundred independent bookstores will partner with the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education to celebrate World Book Day on April 23, with activities running through June in a medley of libraries and heritage sites across Taiwan.
Deputy Culture Minister Celest Hsiao-ching Ting (丁曉菁) noted that the Ministry began to officially celebrate World Book Day last year to promote the habit of reading and to enhance the nation's international competitiveness through creativity.
This year, the Ministry will encourage the public to visit bookstores or libraries through a wide variety of reading activities under the theme "Reading Power for Children and Teens."
In collaboration with the Taiwan Reading Promotion Association (台灣閱讀推進協會), "Openbook (閱讀通)," a website integrating the Ministry's iCulture database, has been established to offer timely information and promote World Book Day. The site includes message-sharing functions via the Line app and a weekly newsletter.
Editor-in-Chief Chou Yueh-ying (周月英) of Openbook magazine explained that the Openbook website will allow users to search for nearby activities by city or county region.
During the two-month-long event, activities such as puzzle-solving games, literary forums, and book bazaars will be held in libraries, bookstores, historic monuments, and museums in all 20 Taiwanese cities and counties to make reading resources more available in rural communities.
For instance, The Taitung County Government will organize a 643km journey to deliver books to rural areas by a truck that is re-outfitted as a mini-library. The truck will travel from the northeast township of Changbin to the southeast Daren Township to offer free access to books.
James Wen (溫昇豪), who serves as the spokesperson of the event, also shared how his father helped cultivate his reading habit, that he wrote adventure stories with his brother as a child, and now encourages his young daughter to actively read.
The Openbook website will continue to offer information on reading activities and events by region after World Book Day. A special section is also devoted to spotlighting independent bookstores around the nation.