ibnlive » Books

Feb 09, 2008 at 11:10pm IST

The 18th World Book Fair comes to Delhi

New Delhi: The 18th World Book Fair is presently going on in New Delhi. The Capital hosts the World Book Fair every two years, and while there did seem to be fewer visitors than expected at the book fair this year the organisers begged to differ.

Director National Book Trust, India, Nuzhat Hassan says, "There are certainly more visitors than last time, in 2006 we had 10 lakh visitors. We have a lot of trade visitors which is a very healthy development. There are trade visitors from 23 countries and also people from countries like US on one hand and Yemen and Turkey on the other hand."

Organisers are certainly hoping that the weather picking up will have a good impact on the number of visitors, even as the Book Fair winds down. The only drawback however is in spite of a map and guide the directions are still a little confusing for the visitors, but it's all a part of the big draw as well, as the book fair has something for everyone.

While literary purists may recoil, here one has the heavy-weight of choice, at least for masses of Indians as publishers of two time author Chetan Bhagat say he has sold about a million copies.

Publisher Rupa & Co, Kapish Mehra says, " It is not just the quantum of sales which is about 10 lakhs, but also more importantly the speed of sales,which is also that we have a record of a copy selling every three seconds of One Night @ the Call Centre.

Author, Chetan Bhagat says," I wrote books which I thought would be fun to write, and people find them fun to read,and it's really good to know that people are reading my book as their first or second book."

It's evident that all kinds of readers are visiting the book fair.

Vice President Sales, Penguin Books India, Ananth Padmanabhan says, "The books that are selling are traditional best-sellers and also new ones. Tarun Khanna's Billions of Entreprenuers, Rama Bijapurkar's We are like that only, Arundhati Roy's 10the anniversary edition of the God of Small Things, and the new Amitav Ghosh. All of these are selling in large numbers. We are selling about 1500 books a day, and making about four lakh rupees a day."

There is also considerable interest in educational titles that the visitors are showing.

MD & CEO, Sage India, Vivek Mehra says, " 300 copies of research books are selling a day, but the large part of our business is to showcase what we produce and the orders follow in later on."

It's been eight days of heavy-duty browsing at the book fair, if not actual buying and reading.