“Bookselling is a noble business”
says Vijay Ahuja of Delhi Book Store in conversation with All About Book Publishing.
Delhi Book Store (DBS) is in the business of distribution of printed books for the last seven decades. “In last seven decades, we have seen a lot of ups and downs and have always managed to sail through the tough times. We opted for this business to provide good quality foreign books to booksellers and libraries for supply. We envisage a new world—a world of knowledge and wisdom—a world of enlightenment where DBS will make the path of distributing books to everyone in the trade,” says Vijay Ahuja of Delhi Book Store.
“It is a known fact that books which have good contents and are useful for research in any field are published by international authors. Because of economics involved, printing these books is expensive and can only be purchased by libraries of universities and research institutes,” he adds.
“What has happened in last couple of years is not good for growth of this country. Most of the libraries have increased the discounts at which they buy books. This has led to a scenario in which libraries are only focusing on discounts and not on content. We can’t solely blame libraries for this scenario, we have to look at a wider scenario and get to the base of the problem,” he says.
“Government has spent millions in creating library buildings but has not spent enough in filling them with good books. As a result, we have buildings, but not enough books. Gone are the days when during New Delhi World Book Fair, faculty members of various institutes used to visit the fair to make outright purchase/selection of books. There are institutes which have not received any funds to buy books in the last couple of years. And those who were lucky to get some funds have managed to renew journals only. There is no clarity on when these institutes will receive grants to buy books and the institutes which have received some grants have made a huge list of “Do’s & Don’ts.” This has made it next to impossible for booksellers to supply them books. How this country is going to achieve the aim of “Make In India” when students/researchers will not have books to read? All development work will corne to standstill if researchers will not get books to read. Booksellers have invested huge amount in stocking books and if funds are not released soon to libraries, then these booksellers won’t be able to survive. Bookselling is a noble business; it shouldn’t be called as business at first place as it’s a service to the nation. We propose that information about availability of funds to buy books should be given at UGC’s/HRD Ministry website well in advance. We strongly believe that very soon things will improve and Government would release sufficient funds for purchase of print books by institutes and booksellers will have good time once again,” concludes Vijay.