In times of online book stores, book fairs may not sound interesting. But the 20th edition of the World Book Fair inaugurated on Saturday has a different story to tell as thousands thronged the sprawling Pragati Maidan, the venue.
A total of 1,300 exhibitors from 26 countries are participating in the nine-day-long festival.
This year it’s not just about books, the fair has much to do with Delhi, which turned 100 in December last year. A glimpse of 100 years of Delhi as the Capital of India has been displayed at a special pavilion in the fair.
The splendid history of Delhi has been portrayed in pictures sourced from various libraries, including the British Library, by Roli Books, the organiser of the pavilion. Pictures of Lord King George V visiting Delhi for coronation in 1911, light locomotives that started here during the same period and the gates in the city are on display.
“Not everybody can afford expensive coffee-table books on the Capital. This pavilion gives Delhiites an opportunity to know the history of their city,” said Pramod kapoor, publisher, Roli Books.
The pavilion’s theme is based on two books published by Roli Books -- ‘Red fort to Raisina Hills’ and ‘New Delhi: Making of a Capital’.
Besides, the fair exhibits more than 100 rare works, most of which have never been displayed in the country before.
More than a dozen non-profit organisations, along with government-aided film organisations, universities and trade bodies, are supporting the event.
Addressing the challenges posed by the Internet and technology, human resource and development minister Kapil Sibal said, “India is only country that publishes books in over 40 languages. Despite the growth of Internet and technology, books will not take a back seat, instead they compliment each other.”