Jamshedpur, Nov. 29: The 10-day annual Jamshedpur Jamshedpur Book Fair at the Rabindra Bhavan premises in Sakchi comes to a close on Sunday.
The fair, a mega event that began on November 20 have had more than 13,000 footfalls. Altogether 71 stalls at the fair offered books on English, Hindi, Bengali, Punjabi, Santhali and Odia literature and other subjects.
The Tagore Society is yet to compile the sales figures of this year’s fair, but the authorities say business has been good this year.
“When you are exhibiting, you come with certain expectations. We are here for business with consumers and if they do not visit the fair what is the point of investing so much money. But this time the response was good,” said a publisher.
“Indian publishers are doing plenty of work now and they are doing good work. With inflation and the devaluation of the rupee, people can’t afford to buy expensive books. However, platforms like this offer what foreign publishers don’t offer,” he added.
Though many books, including science fiction and children’s literature, among others, vied for the attention of visitors, it was their Hindi cousins who stole the show with works by Premchand and Shivani flying off the shelves rapidly.
However, not just the intelligentsia, but even the common man welcomed the fair. “At a time when the education system in the country, as felt by many, is not up to the mark, such book fairs will go a long way in filling the gap and provide motivation to the younger generation,” says Percival Fredrick, a teacher. He is happy that lot of books that are of interest to students were on display and sold at throwaway prices.
Mir Nazeer Ahmed, a former officer of government and a regular visitor for many years, says that all sections of society, in particular teachers and parents should play a key role, in making such affairs a big success.
Another said that the annual book fair is the largest forum for the spreading of literature and culture and that it is different from other conventional commercial fairs and should therefore be given special consideration. “We want to promote the great writers creative works among youngsters and people from communities other than Bengali. Many have heard about them, but do not have any idea about his work or style of writing,” he said.
He said that though sale of books have increased over the years but we want to develop reading habits among the people similar on the lines of western countries. While offering a glimpse of the multilingual publishing industry in the country which has developed substantially in recent years the Jamshedpur Book fair serves to establish fruitful communication among publishers, booksellers, book distributors, librarians, professionals, intellectuals and academicians.
It may be mentioned that Tagore Society, a city based leading educational and cultural organisation, has been organising book fair from more than two decades. Celebrities like writer Mahashweta Devi, quizmaster Neil O’ Brien have participated in the fair.