19th Delhi Book Fair wrapped up successfully!
With increased number of footfall, numerous new titles from more than 250 publishing houses and International contingent from China, USA, UK and Malaysia, 19th edition of Delhi Book Fair (August 23-31, 2013) was indeed able to keep its glory unblemished. Having “Libraries and Readership” as a core theme, coupled with seminars, discussions, poetry sessions, interactive programmes and book launches made this nine-day event an impeccable conflation for bibliophiles and a great book fair for all its visitors. A report by Smita Dwivedi. The 19th edition of the much awaited Delhi Book Fair was opened at the Pragati Maidan (Hall no. 08, 09, 10, 11 and 12) New Delhi after being inaugurated by Pradeep Kumar, central vigilance commissioner (CVC), Government of India. Rita Menon, CMD, ITPO; Sudhir Malhotra, president, Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP) and Ashok Gupta, general secretary, FIP were also present during the inauguration ceremony.
In his inaugural address, the chief guest Pradeep Kumar said, “This fair is a great opportunity for book lovers of Delhi to browse through enormous number of books at one place. Books are synonymous of knowledge and libraries are great place to gain and share that knowledge. It is heartening to see that organizers have paid attention to status of libraries and decided to keep it as their theme. I am sure this year’s event will help promote the concept of libraries and strengthen the prevailing libraries; be it commercial or public or community libraries across the country.” According to Rita Menon, libraries are best learning place next to schools. “A library is great knowledge resource and this festival will inspire creation of many more community libraries,” she said.
The fair also witnessed annual Excellence in Book Production Award 2013 being felicitated in 13 categories to deserving publishers. While Oxford University Press and Niyogi Books topped the English General Books category; Kitabghar, Diamond Pocket Books and Prabhat Prakashan led the Hindi General Books category and Rajhans Prakashan, Star Publications & Ananda Publishers were top in the Regional Language category.
In the valedictory event, Best Stall award were distributed to Pratiyogita Darpan and Bhartiya Gnanpeeth in Hindi Language category, Vishv Books and Goyal Brothers in English Language category and to Sahitya Academy in Regional Language category.
A Hit or a Miss?
While the organisers were going heads-over-heels about the success of the show, some of the visitors were not overwhelmed for a reason that they found participations of some key publishers missing at the show. Most of the exhibitors opined that August is the right time for a book fair as it wouldn’t clash with exams of school children.
DBF…in a brief!
According to a rough estimation, over 65 percent visitors comprised of youth and children which reflected clearly on huge demand of children, reference, religious and philosophical books. National Book Trust and Orient Paperbacks were out of stock for some of their titles while Sage Publication was seen taking orders for home delivery. Demand had its impact on sales as well as many exhibitors admitted of over 150 percent increase in their sales as compared to last show. Unicorn Books and Star Publications informed that they witnessed sales increase of 300 percent as compared to 2011 and by 150 percent as compared to 2012 on the first day of the fair.
Library Theme Pavilion and kids’ activities proved to be a major attraction during the fair which offered numerous other activities like informative seminars by American Embassy, theme discussion and kavi sammelan by Authors Guild of India, seminar on role of Library and Information Science (LIS) professionals by Indian Library Association, educative seminar by Orient Paperbacks, and university students’ debate by Lekhika Sangh.
Most wanted and more wanted!
-Kids and academic books
There were lots of activities at the stalls of children books publishers throughout the show. Be it weekdays or weekends there were hustle-bustle of parent-kids everyday selecting right books for their tiny tots.
As per Mudit Mohini, of Vishv Books, such fairs were the ideal platform to get honest and first-hand feedback of end users. She added, “Our books are for kids, so it’s a great pleasure to see them flipping through the pages and sharing their views.” Manas Ranjan Mahapatra, editor, National Centre for Children’s Literature, NBT said, “We always get good response in book fair and we generate lots of sales as well. More than 60 percent of our books were sold in first two days. Our books are priced less, so we get lot of young buyers from schools as well.”
Pratiyogita Darpan – Upkar Prakashan was also buzzing with students and UPSC aspirants all through the shows. As per SP Gupta, “We always bring new titles to book fair which are sold like hot cakes. We never pull buyers…in fact we attract buyers. This year also we got wonderful response for our books on personality development and analytical thinking.”
Vishv Books unveiled three new book series!
Vishv Books stall is always buzzing with kids and it was really great to see good numbers of kids converged at their stall, even on the very first day of Delhi Book Fair. They kicked off the show on a wonderful note as Mudit Mohini, director, Vishv Books launched three new series, which included Early Learner’s Series, I Am Unique’ Series, and Graded Reading Series.
Vishv Books’ strong believe in creativity and commitment to excellence has evolved them to become one of the leading publishers in India with books published in more than eight languages. Basking the glory of success, Mudit added, “We believe that education and values are the tools which can transform the young minds into catalysts of economic progress and social change. This belief and their invariant love for children drive us to bring out more than 300 new titles of children’s books every year.”
Speaking on the occasion, she further added, “Yet again we are glad to be the part of 19th edition of Delhi Book Fair and look forward to participate in coming years as well. This time we have launched three new series specially designed for children and with that we are also offering flashcards for teachers for free of cost. The series includes: Early Learner’s Series is a set of 14 books, designed for children at pre-primary level then the second one I Am Unique Series is a series of eight short-story books woven around different animal characters who feel uncomfortable about some traits they are born with and the third is Graded Reading Series which is filled with endearing stories for children, full of action and fun.”
On a concluding note!
Expressing gratitude over gigantic public response Sudhir Malhotra, president, Federation of Indian Publishers said, “The enormous response of the public specially kids and youth has put onus back to us to raise the standard of the fair next year. We could see glittering faces of visitors and exhibitors during the fair which summarizes the success of the 19th edition of the annual congregation of book lovers, publishers and other stakeholders.”
There was also a popular concurrent event, the 14th edition of Stationery Fair, which covered a wide range of stationery items, including writing instruments/material/pens, pencils, sketch pens, erasers, geometry boxed, drawing and painting material, crayons, paints, brushes, computers related stationery items.
The 20th edition of the Delhi Book Fair will be held from August 23-31, 2014.
Speaking on the trend of visitors’ interest
ML Bhatia, editor, Punjabi, NBT said that apart from fictions, children books and life histories are major attraction for the visitors this year. He further said that reasons behind this trend are not specific but probably a good amount of hype surrounding many eminent personalities during past year may be one strong reason.
Discussion on ‘Library & the Reader’
Authors Guild of India organised a discussion on Library & the Reader where panel members were univocal in their concern towards current state of libraries in India. Panellist including Padma Shri writer Dr Shyam Singh Shashi, Hindi litterateur VR Jagannathan and KP Singh, stressed on factors like children focusing on TV, mobiles and computer and ‘scoring in exams as compared to holistic learning’ leading to deceased interest in libraries.
“I regularly visit book fairs to explore books in every way…its content, production and utility. I help schools in selecting books, so this show is very important for me. I always bring students with me as well, just to let them know book world better and choose from myriad options as available here.”
–Anshu, academic coordinator, Goodearth Foundation, New Delhi
“We come here primarily to update our school libraries. But at the same time I love books as much as they love me.”
–Jaya Singh, teacher,
Alwar Public School, Alwar
“I love to collect rare books for my personal library. So it is a ritual for me to visit book fair to find new addition to my collection. I also brought my grandson Ayaan, 3-year-old to book fair, so that I can pass on my legacy of books to him. By the way, he loves book too.”
–Vinay Tondon, bibliophile, Gurgaon
“A teacher can never stop loving books, so I am here every time to be with books, which is my first love. I am 82 now, but still love to read new and interesting books.”
-Uttam Singh, retired teacher (Central School Faridabad)
“I love cartoons books and now there are 3D books as well…so I got to know something new this time.
–Ayaan, student, Gurgaon