Sunday, December 10, 2023

Autobiographies, controversial works drawing crowds at Jamshedpur Book Fair

Jamshedpur, Nov. 26: Autobiographies of famous personalities including APJ Abdul Kalam and Sachin Tendulkar’s ‘Playing it My Way’ is ruling the roost at the ongoing annual Jamshedpur Book Fair at the Rabindra Bhawan campus here.

Books like James Laine’s ‘Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India’, “Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence’ by Jaswant Singh and ‘Starry Nights’ by Shobha De, which attracted a lot of controversy, are good in demand. The fair has witnessed a good initial response from the bibliophiles of the city. The autobiography of first woman IPS Kiran Bedi, ‘I Dare,’ is also selling like hot cakes.

Other than ‘Jinnah: India, Partition, Independence,’ publishers are also offering books like ‘Last Days of British Raj’ and ‘Witness to Partition: A Memoir’ by historian B R Nanda.

The annual Jamshedpur Book Fair-2015 organised by Tagore Society is also focusing on the works of regional writers. Bookstalls in the fair are witnessing a good sale of ‘India Divided’ by Rajendra Prasad and ‘The Last Journey of Jinnah’ and others. Moreover, books like ‘Lajja’ by Taslima Nasreen are also in demand.

“The fair is a treat for the avid readers of the city. I can see love for Hindi books increasing here, and there are a good number of people going for Premchand… ‘Madhushala’ by Harivansh Rai Bachchan, and books penned by Chetan Bhagat, Jaswant Singh are also in great demand,” said a publisher from Lucknow.

Books various subjects like children’s story books, cooking books, among others, which cost from Rs 25 to Rs 200, are the main attraction of the fair. Apart from this, many books are also available at a discount of 10-25 per cent.

Ashis Chowdhury, general secretary of Tagore Society, the organizers of the fair, said that every year the trend is for award winning books and on people who are in limelight and this year too is not different.

“The book fair started in 1985 with only 27 publishers and now more than 72 publishers are participating. Last year, the fair registered sale of more than Rs. 1 crore and we are hopeful that the numbers will increase this year,” said Chowdhary.

Books such as R.S. Agarwal’s ‘Quantitative Aptitude’ always enjoy a fresh set of takers, who are preparing for competitive examinations. A good number of copies of this book as well as similar books on aptitude and logical reasoning are selling briskly at the exhibition.

“Academic books move off the shelves quite fast. One could see publishers and bookshop owners stocking such books in large numbers. Our publication, too, is enjoying a good support from students and people preparing for competitive examinations,” said a member of the local bookseller Sen and Company.

Falling in line with academic books, dictionaries and thesauruses also retain their top position among bestsellers.
Children were visibly revved up by the stalls that sell educational CDs.

Baiting kids by playing animated versions of Panchantra and Thenali Raman, the sellers of children’s CDs are confident that sales would reach the peak during the exhibition.

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