Book fairs are here to stay!

Says Manoj Singh Chandel, Founder – Convenor, Lucknow Book Fair in conversation with All About Book Publishing.

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Nothing transcends the natural whiff of an old fashioned book in hand. While old timers still religiously spend hours together reading books, the new generation first started reading the PDFs and then the hi-tech Kindle. Now for fear of an invisible virus, the COVID pandemic has altered the way one consumes literature.

On Lucknow Book Fair…

In a bid to spread literature far and wide, the National Book Fair was conceptualised and has become part of popular Lucknow culture organised from as early as 2003. Relatively newer in inception has been the Lucknow Book Fair which came into being in 2014.

The Book Fairs which are held twice in Sept-Oct and Jan-March every year are much awaited book fests where some of the well known publishing companies, distributors, govt. organisations, NGOs, etc along with educational institutions participate. We were fortunate to have held Lucknow Book Fair 2021 edition from March 4-14, 2021 successfully.

Future of book fairs…

Like any other public event, even book fairs have not escaped the speed breakers of COVID-19. Not surprisingly, the book fairs we patronize did not happen in 2019 and 2020.

Having a ringside view of the situation, it has been in my knowledge that the book industry has suffered huge losses of more than 5000 cr due to pandemic. It is notable that the conditions are not favourable yet for book fairs. School and boards examinations are cancelled. Educational institutional are still not open. Competitions are postponed. Purchases are nil. And studies are now online. Books and publications are now available in digital PDF format.

But the changing reading patterns aside, books are here to stay and will continue to charm generations. Book fairs still have a charm amongst the book lovers, because of their vast varieties where one can visit, choose, bargain and buy quite possibly the best soulmate they can have i.e. books!

Despite all odds, book lovers and publishers still eagerly await for book fairs. Publication industries also look forward. We are hopeful that with the current situation of unlocking trade and the common folk getting used to the new normal, things are changing for the better. The vaccinations drive is also getting momentum. With this government authorities will allow us soon to organise the events , exhibitions and fairs. We are planning to organize National Book Fair, Lucknow in the first week of Oct 2021.

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