Visitors tour a themed exhibition area celebrating the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China at the Shanghai Book Fair in Shanghai on Wednesday. More than 500 publishers brought over 160,000 titles to the fair. [Photo by GAO ERQIANG/CHINA DAILY]

It’s a kingdom of books and a fun fair for readers. The Shanghai Book Fair, one of the most influential book and publishing events in the city, opened at the Shanghai Exhibition Center on Wednesday.

As the People’s Republic of China will celebrate its 70 anniversary in October, books related to this theme have occupied a large portion in this year’s book fair, where publishers brought 160,000 titles to the readers.

Entering the exhibition center, the main lobby is dedicated to the display of books on Xi Jinping’s Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and the thematic education campaign about the original aspiration of the Communist Party of China.

Between now and Aug 20, more than 1,000 reading events will also be held in the city and bookstores across the country, marking the first time the fair has been extended to other cities and provinces.

At the main venue of the fair, the Memorial for the Site of the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China launched a new book-Light Up China: The History of the Early Spread of Marxism in China, which consists of more than 100 photos and archival documents in its collection, recounting the history of the birth of Marxism, its spread to China via overseas Chinese students and the founding of the CPC.

Bo Xuezhu, deputy director of the department of teaching and research at China Executive Leadership Academy, said the book is a good read for Party members to help them better understand the original aspiration and founding mission of the CPC from a historical aspect.

On the main shelf of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University Press booth, copies of Xi Jinping: Wit and Vision-Selected Quotations and Commentary were displayed in various languages.

“It has been translated into six languages including English and Japanese and has sold nearly 1 million copies since it was published in 2014,” said Qian Fangzhen, assistant to the editor-in-chief of the press, adding that its fourth installment of Xi’s comments on education will be out this year.

China Now, a book based on a popular online talk show by Fudan University professor Zhang Weiwei, is being launched by Shanghai People’s Publishing House at the book fair.

Zhou Zheng, deputy editor-in-chief of the press, said: “The book explains China’s system, theory and path of its development in down-to-earth language, so we think it is a good read for young readers.”

Books recounting the 70 years of Chinese people’s work and achievements were also released.

Shanghai Sanlian Publishing House has launched two books, Model Worker in the New Era: The Story of Li Bin and A Group that Shines, which focus on the lives of Shanghai workers who contributed to the city’s development.

Author Xie Guoping has also brought his latest book, China’s Legends: From Special Economic Zone to Free Trade Zone, to the book fair.

“I have written about the development of Pudong New Area, and in the new book I want to provide readers with a broader view of the country’s legendary economic boom in the past 40 years through stories with a human interest,” he said.