Look at this huge quantity of secrets around you! At the Book Fair, I always feel sad, rather than happy. Even if we lived hundreds of years, we would not have time to open all these shells of human mind pearls, full of heart's fire and imagination storms..., said Desanka Maksimović, an author and a poetess in Serbia in 1988.
Yes, that’s how a common person feels at the Book Fair! But the role of the national and international book fairs and festivals is much significant. The importance of books in our life is immense – they have been playing a crucial role in spreading cultural and technological advancements and book fairs help in spreading the reading culture and advancements of education.
In fact, these fairs project a country's literary culture as well. The atmosphere at the book fairs and festivals is enigmatic. Book festivals like Jaipur Literature Festival, Bookaroo, etc have made a mark for themselves...they are not just business options...they bring readers closer to the authors. There’s a sharing of thought process on various subjects... spreading the reading and literary culture. There are hundreds and thousands of scholars, academicians and book lovers who wish to share something via these events. Participants throng around their favourite authors, get to know them better and love to browse through such a huge display of treasure on offer.
If we look at the business angle, the basic objective of such fairs is to enable publishers, authors, booksellers, librarians, book distributors, software and multimedia companies and other participants like, academics, illustrators, service providers, film producers, translators, printers, professionals and trade associations, institutions, artists, authors, antiquarians, etc to establish contacts, exchange experiences, do business deals and establish cultural cooperations. There are exchange of selling and buying rights, co-publishing, joint ventures and ofcourse direct buying. Moreover, international book fairs are a gateway for foreign publishers, printers and other service providers to expand their operations in the host country and vice versa.
Besides, these events offer an opportunity to organise conferences, discussion panels, workshops etc on major topics of interest and ongoing trends. These fairs can help in spreading education at primary and higher levels, besides focusing on adult education and good governance. Various federations and the authorities organising such events can give an impetus to help raise the literacy rate of the countries which are still struggling in this regard.
The opportunities are vast... anybody and in fact everybody related to the publishing industry can benefit from these events. More recently, the New Delhi World Book Fair has been converted to an annual event, the move which hopefully will be well accepted, and these events continue the legacy of spreading literacy & educational culture to a larger extent.
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