01 September 2006

3,000 Years of Publishing

International Book Expo, Beijing China:

China is the largest publisher of books, magazines, and newspapers in the world reports the Chinese General Administration of Press. In book publishing alone, some 128,000 new titles of books were published last year in China. Additionally, 14 million titles of books were imported--the Chinese have a 3,000-year book-reading culture, which is strongly felt as one walks the convention center halls in Beijing. An estimated 400 new titles are launched every day in China; with the publishing economy surging at $300 million a year, China has a market value of about $24 billion (yes, we’re talking “b”). That’s a lot of books considering the average book price is three dolars.

China is still a very young market for U.S. publishers, and Krishnamurti Publications of America is charged with a very important role in offering Krishnamurti’s writings and talks to this ancient culture. Exhibiting at the China Book Expo has enabled the Foundation to contact new publishers, develop relationships with translators, and speak intimately with people interested in Krishnamurti’s work.

As I look out onto the sea of people in Beijing I become overwhelmed by the possibilities, introducing Krishnamurti to a population of 1.3 billion people must have certain repercussions--yet in the same breath I gasp at the amount of work that faces the Krishnamurti Foundations on a global level. I am left pondering the question, ‘What are the Foundation’s responsibilities to the world?’

The reality is that books change lives and the Krishnamurti Foundations have been entrusted with helping to promote and protect Krishnamurti's legacy--printing, publishing, translating, and digitizing Krishnamurti’s work is at the heart of Foundation activities, and as I talk with people at the Expo I realize that it is an honor and a privilege to help facilitate Krishnamurti’s vision of disseminating his teaching in China.

Derek Dodds, Director of Publications/KFA Trustee

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