Book lovers, get ready to loosen your purse strings. The 15th Delhi Book Fair kicks off today. More than 230 publishers will display their books at the fair, including overseas participants from China, Iran, Abu Dhabi, Pakistan and the United States.
The book fair starts with a panel discussion on the ban on Jinnah: India-Partition, Independence. Author and former BJP member Jaswant Singh will be present with former governor TN Chaturvedi chairing the talk.
Rupa Publications, a regular participant in the fair, will be organising a book signing with the author later. “Given the controversy, we are definitely expecting a crowd” a Rupa spokesperson says.
Another noteworthy event at the fair will be the launch of former CBI director Joginder Singh’s How to Excel When the Chips Are Down? on September 1. Diamond Books, which is organising the launch, is also hosting a kavi sammelan (poets’ meet) today.
“We had a good reaction last year. This time, we expect roughly double the response we got last time,” says Narendar Kumar Verma, chairman of Diamond Books and vice- president of Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP).
Last year, with over 290 participants, the Delhi Book Fair attracted over two lakh visitors.
This year, the fair will witness participation from some major publishers for the first time. Penguin India, a first-time participant, is expecting a good response from the fair.
“This is something of an experiment for us. The local readership is increasing and we want to capitalise on that,” says Rahul Dixit, head of sales for north India at Penguin.
FIP and the Indian Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), who organise the event, will simultaneously host a stationery fair with over 70 participants from around the world.
Other interesting events at the festival include a discussion on writing, illustrating, publishing, and promoting children’s books, organised by National Book Trust, and a panel discussion on copyright issues organised by Kitab, Abu Dhabi, on August 31.