I am generally a late riser on holidays. But quite unlike the other days, had my agenda for today. I wanted to be among the first day visitors to the International book fair. Was really excited about it. After the usual mundane working days, was looking forward to the mega event and a kicking day.
The auto ride was for 20 mins and I was dropped at gate No. 2.There was a queue and I made my way to the ticket counter. Entrance to the book fair was 20 Rs a person. Clicked the pic above.Wading through the crowd, the first peek was in the hand loom hall just round the corner. The first look to grand collection of books was a five to ten minute walk starting from Hall no. 7. Pragati Maidan was buzzing with activity and milling with people. Though the first day didn’t have the thronging crowd. May be the excitement would take on from tomorrow.
The stall which had Bible for all caught my first attention. They had quizzes and prizes to attract readers. Quite interesting! Strolled and peeked through all the stalls, I was looking for something interesting. There were an enormous number of stands, all representing publishers, suppliers, distributors’. Must say a grand display. The book show provided a platform for transacting business with publishers from India and abroad. Also providing opportunities for building new contacts and entering co-publishing arrangements.
The weather was kind, in fact bright and warm and it was a comfortable stroll across the sprawling Pragati Maidan complex with wide distanced halls. Carpets laid out neatly all across the large rooms. Being into lots of artwork, explored my interests on painting, sculpture, oil, embroidery. I made my first purchase at the Jyotsana Prakashans, owning a book on landscape paintings. Conversed with people at different counters, collected lots of bookmarks and catalogs. From the wide array of books, picked up some more here and there.
And by the end of the day had 18 bestsellers in my kitty. Quite a number to keep me busy for many weekends to come. It ranged from Nita Mehta’s cookery book to spiritual to fiction/non fiction to R.K. Murthi’s Quick Bites. Also came across some online book rental sites. Check out this one, you will love it www.friendsofbooks.com.
The children book shops were very vibrant places.10 percent discount was the general benefit. Hunt for those few who offered 15 to 20 percent. The offerings at the fair had huge collection of books available from across the world on every possible subject and for every age group – from kids to adults. It included educational books, fiction and non-fiction, literature, children’s books and dictionaries apart from periodicals, magazines, and journals. Book lovers can look forward to 8 more exciting days.
Publishers, book retailers, librarians and booksellers left no stone unturned to make the fair a grand hit. From the huge Penguins, to the small start ups, everyone who had a soft corner for the printed world was there. Though the Pragati Maidan’s huge complex needs renovation, some good food to stomach in and definitely clean washrooms I must say a great show was put up. Above all thoroughly enjoyed my day with the likeminded. Had a memorable day out today. Hope the Book Fair succeeds in bringing books close to the heart of the city.