Taipei, Feb. 8 (CNA) Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) on Wednesday noted how books can influence people's lives, citing his own daughter as an example of this.
Addressing the opening of the 2017 Taipei International Book Exhibition at the Taipei World Trade Center, Chen recalled that books were one of his father's favorite possessions.
For he himself, he went on, times spent reading were the moments in his childhood in which he felt the most blessed.
Chen said it was a book he bought for his daughter featuring the life of Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), a British social reformer and the founder of modern nursing, that inspired her to study nursing and make it her career.
"Books can have a great influence on us," said Chen.
The exhibition, which will run through Feb. 13, has attracted 621 publishers from 59 countries this year. A total of 1,789 booths have been set up at the venue, and at least 450 workshops and promotional activities will take place during the five-day exhibition, according to the organizers.
CNA has also set up a booth to showcase its wide range of publications.
Chen attended the event accompanied by Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君) and Taipei Book Fair Foundation Chairman Chao Cheng-ming (趙政岷).
Meanwhile, asked why President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) did not show up for the book fair on its opening day as her predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), usually did during his eight-year tenure, Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺) explained Tsai had a tight schedule that day.
To show the importance she attaches to the event, Tsai sent her deputy to the fair in her place, Huang said, noting that the president supports the publishing and culture businesses and encourages people to read.
Tsai believes people can acquire knowledge of various ideas and theories through reading, as well as broaden their vision, Huang said.
(By Sabine Cheng and Elizabeth Hsu)