Bengaluru: A number of popular publishers and book houses displayed a wide range of books at the ten-day Bengaluru Book Festival that was flagged off here on Friday.
This year, however, for the first time, there was a change in venue. The event was held at the Elaan Convention Centre in JP Nagar 7 Phase, opposite Brigade Millennium Apartments. For the past ten years, the event has been religiously held in Palace Grounds.But, as authorities concerned accorded the organisers only three days permission to conduct the event at Palace Grounds, they had to come up with an alternative venue.
The change of venue acted as a first-of-its-kind experience for publishers and in order to attract interest from people in the locality, they had come up with different strategies. While they would see visitors from all walks of life at Palace Grounds, publishers who had set up stalls at the festival this time believe they will be catering to select groups of readers.
Speaking to Deccan Herald, a representative of Jaico Publishing House said, “The venue this time is in a residential locality. We are expecting employees from the IT sector who working in surrounding areas, schoolchildren and local residents.”
Hence, their stall has laid emphasis on front-list books (the recently released books), selected bestsellers along with self-help books, he added. Publishers are also expecting a large number of school students to turn up. Bookworm, one of the book stores that have set up their stall at the venue, is showcasing an array of children’s books. However, the book festival is not limited only to these topics.
There are a number of well-known publishers and book houses including National Book Trust, Kanva Publishers, Disha Publishers, Sapna Book House among others that have set up stalls. From religious treatises to textbooks, one can find books on a wide range of topics.
Speaking at the inauguration, Nitin Shah, president of Bangalore Book Sellers and Publishers Association felt that even though E-books were popular, the habit of reading printed material is an inherent habit of human civilisation. “Print and digital media must be complimentary to each other and not rival to each other,” he added, requesting the government to support book fairs.
Poet and author KS Nisar Ahmed shared an optimistic view about the change of venue for the festival. “Book fair at Palace Grounds might be inaccessible to a large section of people. It is great that this time the fair is in a residential locality where common people can access books.”
He called upon book sellers to also encourage discussions on books and create platforms for the same. Books are still reaching the elite crowd. There have to be books at reasonable prices that reach the poorer sections of the society as well, he added.