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Bookworms throng Delhi Book Fair

The capital's most-awaited annual event saw almost 300 Indian and foreign publishers setting up camps at Pragati Maidan from August 27- September 4. Not to forget Delhi's bookworms, who came in all shapes and sizes, reports Sonakshi Babbar.

books Updated: Sep 03, 2011 11:44 IST

Donning 3-D glasses, 10-yr-old Yash Sharma, was immersed in checking out giant dinosaurs in the new series of 3-D books available at the ongoing Delhi Book Fair. And he isn't the only one. Kids, teens and adults, everyone thronged the various bookstalls to get a sneak peek at the various kinds of books on display, at the ongoing Delhi Book Fair 2011.

The capital's most-awaited annual event saw almost 300 Indian and foreign publishers setting up camps at Pragati Maidan from August 27- September 4. Not to forget Delhi's bookworms, who came in all shapes and sizes. From giggling schoolgirls, little kids trailing behind their parents, retired professors, to neighbourhood aunties, and teenagers, the fair was the hub for anyone and everyone who loves books.

With this year's special focus on children's books, the stalls were offering colourful books for kids and wooed them with colourful fun. But it was the new-age collection of Sound books, Pop-up books, Bath books (made of cloth), and E-books, which gave a stiff competition to the age-old paper books. In an age, when kids are hooked to Facebook and 3-D gaming, distributors and publishers came up with exciting new formats in books to introduce reading to kids.

Said, Mr Kohli of the Kohli Book Distributor, "We offer not just the latest publications by Penguin but also a variety of books like Bath Books for kids (they are printed on cloth and dry quickly if kids spill water on them!), 3-D books, and Sound books for kids.

Organised jointly by the India Trade Promotion Organisation and The Federation of Indian Publishers, the fair gave a rare opportunity to distributors to deal directly with the buyers. More accustomed to supplying books chains like Teksons, Om, Reliance, they were pretty keen to observe.

While the usual suspects Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Rupa Publications, Delhi Press and Scholastic attracted the loyal clientele, the fair also saw an increasing number of private publishers. Though small, these upcoming publishing houses offered heavy discounts and a unique selections of books in specific genres like Gardening (Planet Publishers), Educational Aids (PHI Learning), and Children books (Har Anand Publications).

Everywhere the racks were lined with latest fiction, encyclopedias, fantasy, travel, but what stood out was various numbers of stalls selling religious books. Thronged mainly by saffron clad pundits, these new stalls offered books on spirituality, divinity, Hindu Upanishads, Christianity, and more.

Second hand books, mainly thrillers, autobiographies, cookbooks, chic-lit, travel, coffee table, were also a big hit among the readers. Whether it was a racy Daniele Thriller or Mein Kamf, you could grab a copy for just Rs 100! And that's what most people were doing! Excited buyers were seen hungrily filling the rather fragile paper bags with their precious purchases.

With such amazing discounts and variety, this year's book fair was indeed a fair(y) treat for all lit geeks.