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Click online for an e-fair to remember

books Updated: Jul 31, 2009 23:37 IST
Rajiv Arora
Rajiv Arora
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Is your life caught in the Net? Has this put your reading habits on standby? If yes, here is your prescription for this weekend: log on to www.worldebookfair.com (WeBF) and attain literary nirvana.

For the uninitiated, this is what we are jabbering about: With the help of more than 100 libraries from across the globe, every year, for a month, some non-profiting organisations and commercial e-book publishers — like Project Gutenberg, the World Public Library, Ask.com, MobileBooks, among others — come together to offer millions of ebooks for free download.

Spread over a wide range of topics, ebooks are available in various languages like English, German, Urdu, French, etc. And if you feel 30 days are too less to get acquainted with - and addicted to — the concept of reading virtual books, the option of subscribing to the World Public Library is always open. Frankly, if you can get access to over 500,000 books for around Rs 450, why enter a bookstore?

The journey of this annual event — in its fourth year now — has been an inspiring one. If statistics are any yardstick to measure success, then the leap from about 1/3 million ebooks on the offering back in 2006 to over 2 million this year is enough to earn the organisers a pat on the back.

A million downloads on the first day itself confirmed that it’s difficult to ignore the rising phenomenon. Kick-start your journey into the virtual world of books. Rush, the month-long event ends on Tuesday, August 4.