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Curtains come down on Jamshedpur Book Fair, lukewarm response worries publishers

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Jamshedpur : The Jamshedpur Book Fair witnessed lukewarm response this year. The footfall of visitors was less as compared to the previous years.

The organisers and book sellers at kiosks have said that the footfalls has been very scarce this year. One the prime reasons being demonetization, the lack of visitors has affected the business.

Due to lack of cash people remained indoors. Though some of the publishers gave facility of debit and credit cards but still failed to attract visitors.

The Jamshedpur Book Fair this year started on November 11 and concluded on Nov 20. Organised by the Tagore Society, the Rabindra Bhavan ground had 72 book stalls.

The Tagore Society is yet to compile the sales figures but the authorities say business has registered a downfall this year.
“When you are exhibiting, you come with certain expectations. We are here making business with consumers and if they are not present what is the point of investing so much money,” said a publisher.

“There is so much Indian publishers are doing and they are doing good work. With ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes, people can’t afford to buy expensive books.

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.
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 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.

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