Beijing annual book festival draws crowds of reading enthusiasts
By Lyne Lin

What spells fun for a great weekend? Nice weather, interesting people and an outdoor book fair. 

To celebrate World Book Day, authors, publishers and book lovers gathered at the annual Lang Yuan Book Festival in Beijing to explore the joy of written words. Young and old, people braved the lines to score discounted books.

The touch and feel of physical books can't be replaced. So even when all books are pretty much available on digital platforms today, fairs like this are a chance for book lovers to explore new books, new titles and new authors. And they get to flip through the pages before buying the books of their choice. 

For Fu Lili and Hu Yinmeng, the feeling of turning actual, real pages is key to buying a book. 

The annual Lang Yuan Book Festival in Beijing. /CGTN

The annual Lang Yuan Book Festival in Beijing. /CGTN

"Here you get to see the actual book whereas online, you only see its cover. The page texture of each book differs, and when you touch it, you're more inclined to buy it," Fu Lili told CGTN.

Hu Yinmeng found the festival particularly fun as she was able to learn how a book is put together.  

While the fair is a paradise for bibliophiles, the event is also a treat for book editors and writers. It provides a chance for them to meet their readers. 

"This is my first time attending a book fair and I'm really excited," Deng Anqing enthused. "I'm here with my new book and I get to learn what my readers think of it."

In an increasingly digitized world, reading habits may have changed but the buzzing festival is a reminder that people's eagerness to read is still strong. 

Book fairs have now morphed into educational and cultural events and remain vibrant cogs in Beijing's cultural life.

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