For true bibliophiles, Delhi book fair could surely be called as a paradise on Earth. The aura inside the fair was mesmerising for whereever you might look you would find only books. The Fair was organized from the 4th -9th September at Pragati Maidan and was a grand success. Every day thousands of book lovers poured in and bought dozens of books.
While walking across the hall, one would be tempted to stop several times at the various stalls where books were being sold at the most amazing prices. At most of the stalls one could easily pick up their favourite novel priced of only 99 rupees. The crimson smell of old and new books filled the air, tantalizing the visitors to stay longer. New popular trends in reading were clearly evident. Books by authors like James Patterson, Jeffrey Archer, Dan Brown and John Grisham were being sold like hot pancakes. Though books of high literary value were difficult to find, but one could try their luck at a few places and get hold of some old classics. Chetan Bhagat was definitely the favourite book seller among all age groups. Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James, popularly known as “mommy porn” was in huge demand.
A large part of the crowd also comprised of children accompanied by their parents and the book fair had lots to offer them. Story books, colouring books, encyclopedias, books based on school curriculum were in abundance. The stationary mart was another major attraction. Most of the big stationery companies like Reynolds, Luxor, Uniball and many others had set up their stalls and were peddling their goods at highly discounted rates. The sale at the Archie’s arcade was a steal were most of the goodies were being wholesaled at a discount of 50 %.
Another major section of the fair had huge galleries set up by some popular names like Rupa, Om Book Shop, S.Chand etc. Foreign publishers like Cambridge had also put up their booth where the research papers and manuscripts written by reputed teachers and students were made available to the public. Spiritual organizations like ISCKON and the Art of Living had also set up their arcades where books, CDs and posters that propagated their teachings were being sold. The major attraction however was the e-book stall. The audience, especially the young were appreciative of the inevitable change in the style of reading that has taken place over time. Since, this book fair also celebrated 100 years of Indian cinema, classics of different genres and languages were also screened in the evenings.
Visiting the book fair can prove to be an enlightening experience- it helps us to realise how much knowledge and wisdom can actually be gained by reading books- as if in a time machine, you are transported to a different world altogether where the absurdities of daily life don’t hinder your thought process. Hence if you couldn’t make it to the fair this year, do try not missing it the next year for it is worth a visit.