Delhi Book Fair Celebrates Its Silver Jubilee
Five-day fair gave customers less time to browse this year, say sellers
Eleven-year-old Kaustubhi and Rudraksh Saxena (14) were waiting for their parents at Pragati Maidan after having bought comics, history books and some stationery from their wishlist. Having taken an exam in the morning, they were happy to be at the book fair and said they have been visiting it for at least 5 years.
The Saxena siblings were one of the many children who have been thronging the Annual Delhi Book Fair held at Pragati Maidan.
Typically a nine-day-long event otherwise, this year’s fair commenced on September 11 and ended on Sunday — much to the chagrin of booksellers across the city to whom the fair brings a lot of profit.
‘September not ideal’
Sandeep Madan (40) has been dealing in the business of books since 22 years and runs a book store in Pitam Pura with his elder brother. He complained that this year’s fair, being a shorter one, did not benefit anyone as “customers had lesser time to browse”
Mr. Madan said, “September is the worst month for the book fair with schoolchildren writing their half-yearly exams.”
Even so, young children were aplenty at both the book and stationery fairs.
D.K. Kapur, manager of Jaico Publishing House, meanwhile, said he was happy to find “that the younger generation is keen on reading”.
Jaico Publishing House stall is one of those which attracts a lot of customers. They lure them by offering 10% discount on books. Mr. Kapur said that he managed to sell books worth ₹10 lakh, adding that, “The fair is always a good idea.”
Rajat Malik, a 20-year-old third-year student of English at Delhi University’s Motilal Nehru College, hopes to write his own anthology of poetry. “I have come for fiction and course books and in fact, anything that can help me with my own book.” When asked about his favourite stall, he said, “Definitely the one where I can get three or four books for just ₹100.”
Smita Bhatia, an associate professor of zoology at Ramjas College, said she could not count the number of years since she has been coming to the fair. “My profession gives me an opportunity to look at new books and I often suggest the good ones to our library for procurement,” she added.
Rudraksh recalled his first visit to the book fair. He said he was just eight back then and had got lost at a stall. He was looking for books at the stall when his father drifted elsewhere.
While picking story books for her four-year-old son, former dentist Shipra Sharma said that she had been coming to the fair since she was a child. The long drive from Rohini, where she lives, “is totally worth it,” she said.