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With 800 stalls, Chennai Book Fair expects footfall to exceed 15 lakh

Narayanan V/Purnima S Das Chennai | Updated on January 21, 2020 Published on January 18, 2020

The Chennai Book Fair is touted to be one of Asia’s largest retail book fair with over two crore books on wide-ranging subjects on display under a single roof   -  THE HINDU

Some things never go out of style just like the joy of holding a physical book and the feeling of the fresh smell that emanates with the flip of a new page. Although digital media has disrupted the publishing industry, printed books still hold their charm.

The thousands of footfalls everyday at the 43rd Chennai Book Fair is a testimony to this growing trend.

With about 800 stalls and 15 lakh titles, the Chennai Book Fair is touted to be one of Asia’s largest retail book fair with over two crore books on wide-ranging subjects on display under a single roof.

“It’s very convenient to explore different books here rather than browsing them online. Also, there are plenty of options available to chose from,” said 23-year-old Sakura Mungara, a Japanese student who is visiting the book fair for the first time.

For R Anbu, a regular at the annual book fair, this year’s visit was an interesting experience. “This is the first time I have brought my son to the book fair. I want my son to develop an interest in reading. I have bought a few moral stories and proverb books to start with.”

Besides targeting the bibliophiles, the organisers of the event — the BookSellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI) — has also introduced entertainment and informative events such as short-film screening, reading competition for students and a Writer’s Corner to attract a diverse range of audiences.

“Chennai is well known for its seasonal celebrations such as poetry, culture and music festivals. Through our efforts in the last two decades, we have made people look forward to the Chennai Book Fair every January,” said RS Shanumuagam, President, BAPASI. One of the best attractions this time is the ‘Keezhadi-Eeradi’ auditorium, showcasing artefacts excavated from Keezhadi in Sivaganga district. The Department of Archaeology has allowed to exhibit the evidence to educate the public about the ancient civilisation.

BAPASI expects the footfall to exceed 15 lakh this year. The organisers have also offered over 7-8 lakh free tickets to schools, colleges and institutions to attract more students and to encourage the reading habit among youngsters.

The previous book fair saw a record sale of books worth ₹18 crore, while the 2018 fair registered a sales of ₹15 crore.

“This year, we expect the receipts from book sales to exceed ₹20 crore,” Shanumuagam added.

The 13-day book fair, which started last week, will go on till January 21.

Published on January 18, 2020
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