The 20th Delhi Book Fair concludes successfully

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The 20th edition of Delhi Book Fair and 16th Stationery & Office Automation Fair concluded successfully at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, recently. This nine-day festival of books (August 23-31, 2014) attracted a lot of visitors. Organised by India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO) in collaboration with Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP), the fair witnessed some great moments and was well received by everyone, be it publishers, authors, writers, distributors or other industry professionals. Smita Dwivedi brings a report. The 20th Delhi Book Fair 2014 and its concurrent event, the 16th edition of Stationery & Office Automation Fair 2014 kick-started with a traditional lamp lighting ceremony by V Meera, GM, ITPO and Dr Ashok Gupta, president of FIP, in the presence of dignitaries and officials from ITPO and FIP along with industry professionals.

This year, the thematic display focused on “Literature in Cinema”. Several books that have been converted into films were the main highlight of theme pavilion. From old Yash Chopra classics like Daag that was inspired by Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge to newer ones like 2 States that emerged from India’s bestseller Chetan Bhagat’s book.

The fair displayed a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, academic books, children’s literature, classics and other categories of publications including digital innovations.

With the motive to make these fairs more convenient to the visitors, ITPO also launched a mobile application by which the visitors accessed details of exhibitors, products on display, location details and concurrent ancillary activities.

Events and Activities!

Apart from promoting children’s literature and the importance of inculcating reading habits, it had many special treats lined up for the visitors, in the form of interactive discussions and sessions. There were painting competitions, book review competitions and several fun activities for children. Other programmes included kavita path by Bharatiya Jnanpith, interactive programme on ‘Pustakon Se Manch Par Sant’ by the Bachpan Society for Children’s Literature & Culture, ‘Kavita Ke Sath Ek Sham’ by Indian Society of Authors, on-the-spot painting competition for children of age group between five to ten years and 10 to 15 years by FIP, panel discussion on ‘Children Literature for Environment Protection and Sustainable Development’ and interactive discussion on Intellectual Property by American Embassy, panel discussion followed by kavi sammelan by Authors Guild of India and ‘Sham-E-Ghazal – an evening of Ghazal and Geet’ by Indian Society of Authors.

Akshar Books Publication hosted a book release function. The book Petals is a creation of Miss Shruti Mala Duara from Tripura. The event was inaugurated by the director of National Books Trust (NBT), India, MA Sikandar. Diamond Pocket Books organised an authors meet with Kumar Vishwas. The famous poet and author of Koi Deewana Kehta Hai interacted with many of the readers and personally signed the books. Also, Bharatiya Jnanpith organised an interactive discussion on Literary Journalism.

With love…for kids

The American Embassy organised an interactive discussion which was jointly hosted by the United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF). The main principle of the discussion was to inform and encourage Indian students to complete their higher education from American community colleges.

The Bachpan Society for Children’s Literature and Culture organised book release ceremony in partnership with Aseem’s Library and Aman Biradri Trust. The event was addressed by Girja Rani Asthana, secretary of Bachpan Society and the founder of Aseem’s Library Nadira Chaturvedi. The Publication Division organised an interactive discussion on ‘Hindi Baal Patrikaon ka Paridrishya’ attended by eminent authors of children literature.

The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), with support from Gopsons Papers Ltd, released its children’s publication, Why Should I Recycle? authored by Aanchal Broca Kumar.

Awards for excellence!

ITPO organised a valedictory function and award ceremony for the best stalls of the fair. Rita Menon, chairperson and managing director of ITPO was the guest of honour. Amar Nath, vice president of FIP welcomed the gathering. The executive director of ITPO, Malay Srivastava was also present at the occasion.

Awards were presented in different categories comprising Hindi, Regional and English languages. In Hindi language category, Prabhat Prakashan won the Gold trophy, Kitabghar Prakashan the Silver and Hindi Book Centre won Bronze trophy while in the English language category, MBD Group, Full Marks Pvt Ltd and Amity University Press won the Gold, Silver and Bronze trophies, respectively. National Book Trust, India bagged the Gold trophy and Sahitya Akademi won the Silver trophy in the Regional language categories. Awards were also given away for Excellence in Display in the Stationery & Office Automation Fair. Ballarpur Industries Limited bagged the Gold trophy, while Paper Theatre and GSC Glass Ltd received the Silver and Bronze trophies respectively.

Bestsellers…at glance!

The Delhi Book Fair had many books and journals written by Indian authors. Books in other languages like Punjabi, Urdu and Telugu were also available. International best sellers were also introduced by the participating publishers. Books like Strictly Personal written by ex-prime minister Manmohan Singh’s daughter Daman Singh and Christopher C Doyle’s The Mahabharta Secret were the top sellers of the 20th Delhi Book Fair. Other books such as Sita by Devdutt Pattanaik, And The Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini, A Perfect Life by Danielle Steel and Colourless Tsukuru Tazaki written by Japanese-writer Haruki Murakami were too very popular.

Gain…gain…BARGAIN!

This year, DBF was also a great place for bargains with stalls offering three-books-in-Rs 100 deals. Publishers like HarperCollins, NBT, India, Om Books (offered 82 percent discount on their cooking encyclopedia), Diamond and Raj Comics all had great offers. Comic book aficionados could pick up old Chacha Chaudhary titles priced between Rs 15 and Rs 50 or Campfire Comics’ graphic novel on Steve Jobs (Rs 200). On asking about offering such discounts Karan Mago of Om Books said, “We offer such discounts just to increase reading habits amongst people.”

EduBooks

A major attraction of the Delhi Book Fair 2014 was the educational tools that had been introduced for students as well as professionals. Many stalls were offering e-books, online courses, supplement books, study guides and even mobile applications that make learning simpler and fun. The Skills Academy had also served many universities and colleges by providing their students with placement skills. Related books such as Change the Way You Speak, Get Selected at Job Interviews, Winning with People and Know When Someone Lies to You were their best-sellers written by Prabbal Frank, well known corporate trainer, author and management expert.

Enlightenment!

As always, DBF was not limited to finding good reads. It was also the destination for one wished to enlighten their spiritual side. International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), Ramakrishna Mission and Urdu Academy, Delhi were such organizations which are spreading spiritual knowledge through various teachings and books. IRH Press India Company Private Limited had introduced the writings of international spiritual leader, Ryuho Okawa. He has published 1,600 books that have been translated in 27 different languages. He also holds the Guinness World Record for publishing 52 books in one year. His books Heal Yourself, Change Your Life, Change the World, Laws of Success and Invincible Thinking are doing fairly well.

The Gita Press was one of the most crowded and popular stalls. They have been the leading publishers and distributors of religious books of the Hindu religion. The Gita Press have been known for their original, cost efficient books that are always presented in the best of quality. They have a large archive consisting of 3,500 manuscripts and over a 100 interpretations of the Gita. These texts are published in Hindi, Sanskrit, Marathi, English, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Odiya and other Indian languages. A diverse sight at the Gita Press was the small suggestion box that was open to collect the general public’s suggestions.

Shri Ramcharit Manas, the Gita and the Quran were the highest selling books.

FIP awards for Excellence in Book Production

On the sidelines of the Delhi Book Fair, FIP organised an award distribution for Excellence in Book Production. Dr Ashok Gupta, chairman, FIP gave the welcome address. “The awards for Excellence in Book Production which are given every year at the time of the Delhi Book Fair are industry benchmarks in assessing national production standards. The objective of the competition for awards is to motivate publishers to improve the quality of production of books not only in the area of paper, printing and binding but also designing and typography, layout and readability, and the general feel of the book,” he told. He further said that the awards which used to be restricted to only members of the FIP have now been made open to all publishers. “Any publisher in India is eligible to compete, including the public sector publishing houses, the universities and state textbook bureaus,” he added.

Malay Srivasatava, executive director, ITPO, briefed about the mobile app launched for the first time at Delhi Book Fair. While, chief guest Murli Manohar Joshi said that he was happy to see the progress in book production. “Books need to be declared as ‘best invention,” he opined.

Other dignitaries present on the dais included Navin Gupta, Ramesh Mittal and RC Govil.

This year, the Federation had received 1,100 books from 78 publishers however, the jury selected 88 titles of 46 publishers for the awards. Out of these 27 titles have been selected for fist prize, 34 titles for second prize and 27 titles for certificate of merit.

The winners of the awards included:

Aakar Books, New Delhi; Aleph Books, New Delhi; Ameya Prakashan, Pune; Avichal Publishing Company, New Delhi; Balvinod Prakashan, Ahmedabad (Gujarati); Bloomsbury Publishing India Pvt Ltd, New Delhi; DC Books, Kottayam; Diamond Pocket Books Pvt Ltd, New Delhi; Dreamland Publications, New Delhi; Frank Brothers & Co (Publishers) Ltd, Noida; Global MBD Africa Publishing (Pty) Ltd; Goyal Brothers Prakashan, New Delhi; Granth Akademi, New Delhi; Green Books Pvt Ltd, Thrissur; HarperCollins Publishers India Ltd; Hay House Publishers India Pvt Ltd, New Delhi; Holy Faith International (P) Ltd, New Delhi; Indiaclickedcom C/o Arya Publishing House; Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd, New Delhi; Jyotsna Prakashan, Mumbai; Macmillan Publishers India Ltd, Noida; MBD Group, New Delhi; Moulik Library, Kolkata; Narosa Publishing House Pvt Ltd, New Delhi; Navbharat Sahitya Mandir, Ahmedabad; Niyogi Books, New Delhi; Northern Book Centre, New Delhi; Orient Publishing, New Delhi; Padmagandha Prakashan, Pune; Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, Gurgaon; PHI Learning Pvt Ltd, Delhi; Poorna Publications, Kozhikode; Prabhat Prakashan, New Delhi; Pratham Books, New Delhi; Pratibha Pratishthan, New Delhi; Punjabi University, Patiala; Rajhans Prakashan Pvt Ltd, Pune; Rising Sun Publishing Company, New Delhi; Roli Books (P) Ltd, New Delhi; Rupa Publications India Pvt Ltd, New Delhi; Sabhya Prakashan, New Delhi; Sahitya Akademi, New Delhi; Saket Prakashan Pvt Ltd, Aurangabad; Sumi Publications, New Delhi; V & S Publishers, New Delhi and Vishv Books Pvt Ltd, New Delhi.

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