TODAY -

New Delhi: World Book Fair 2018 : Review

James Oinam *

New Delhi: World Book Fair 2018'
New Delhi: World Book Fair 2018



The World Book Fair kicked off on Saturday, 6 January 2018, about a month ahead of its usual time. The fair will run for about two weeks. As renovation work is being carried out in Pragati Maidan, the visitors could enter from Gate No. 1 only where the entry tickets are also available.

Also, the small amphitheatre where cultural programmes used to be held in previous fairs was quiet on the opening day. But apparently book-lovers’ enthusiasm was not dampened by all this. Comical costume animals roamed in the place to make kids feel at home.

This year the European Union is the guest of honour. Hall 7 is being dedicated for the guest of honour. Other than foreign books, mostly for children, the hall prominently displayed pictures of Jaroslav Seifert, a Czech poet who received Nobel Prize for literature.

Detailed account of discrimination faced by this author due to his political leaning is given. Also, there is a short video on Germany’s plan to use only renewable sources of energy by 2050.

Upon entering the main gate, I found a brand new National Book Trust mobile book store at the main entrance - a bus displaying NBT books instead of passengers in its large glass windows.

Other than pavilions dedicated for the inauguration ceremony and the authors, there were children’s pavilions where they were encouraged to create toys of their choice using plastic foams and cello tapes and learn other skills like to speak English.

New Delhi: World Book Fair 2018'
New Delhi: World Book Fair 2018



The books cover all age groups, from picture books for small children, to graphic novels and comics for young adults, to academic books for students and researchers. Publishers like Parragon prints beautiful children’s picture books of Disney movies and other folk tales.

The Penguin publishers has Marvel comics section besides serious academic books. One can also find Japanese manga and anime books. Regional languages books, particularly Hindu, are also available in plenty.

One could buy new copies from the publishers themselves or hunt their favourite novels in the stalls selling old copies for Rs 100 each. In such stalls, one can find old and famous novels in pretty good condition and at bargain prices.

Whether it is old cliché names like Jane Austen, Bronte, Mark Twain and Anton Chekov or new ones like Chetan Bhagat or popular series like Grisham, you will find all here. But I suggest you approach the regular publishers for latest releases.

This event is a platform where you can interact with your authors, publishers or become an author yourself. In the authors’ corners, the readers interact with the authors.

If you are an aspiring author and if the regular publishers take too long time to look into your manuscript and if are confident of being able to do your own marketing, you may self-publish your works through Notion Press or Amazon’s Createspace. If you are a voracious reader, you may establish a long-term relationship with certain publisher or library like by applying for membership for British Council library in Hall 7.

Other than books, there are stalls selling stationeries, small science gadgets like lens and telescopes. There was even a small stall selling robot components for science geeks. Small puzzle toys for children and fancy diaries and other kinds of trinkets like figurines of Buddha are also on sale.

Missionary and other religious activities are also active on the ground. You might even get copies of the Bible or Koran for free. There are stalls selling books and trinkets of Ambedkar and Buddha exclusively and others focusing on one particular religious cult.

You may have to spend the entire day browsing the books. But there is no need to worry as there are plenty of coffee stalls and food and beverages to refresh, for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians. Also, plenty of chairs and carpeted spaces are provided for a relaxed browsing experience.


* James Oinam wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at jamesoinam(AT)gmail(DOT0com
This article was webcasted on January 09, 2018.



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