There is a lot to choose from for avid readers at the 10th National Book Fair at Moti Mahal Vatika, Rana Pratap Marg that was inaugurated on Friday.
Hindi literature and children’s books are always popular, but Vedic literature also has a wide readership and is selling like hot cakes.
Stall number 148 put up by the Vedic Sahitya Kendra is a busy place. With advance orders for several books, including ‘Satyartha Prakash’ and a set of the four Vedas, the stall has seen huge sales in the past three years at the fair. The Vedas are available in English and Hindi, and the internationally acclaimed Satyartha Prakash is available in four languages-Hindi, English, Urdu and Nepali, which is a rare version of the book-said stall attendants.
“These books are not easily available in the market. Thus, when they are available in the fair here, they are much in demand,” said PR Pandey, attending to customers at the stall. For rare books such as the Valmiki Ramayan, Mahabharat and Ashtadhyayi, bookings were done even before the stall unpacked and displayed its stock at the fair.
And it is not just the aged or members of a particular community that are buying these books, say attendants. Pandey said, “In the past few years, the demand for Vedic literature has increased. The buyers are also youngsters, who have a curiosity to learn about mythology.”
Satya Prakash, a visitor at the stall, said, “I had been searching for Ashtadhyayi for the past many months. I could not find it at any bookstore in Lucknow and was eagerly waiting for the fair. There are several other books that are difficult to find anywhere else but are available at the fair.”
In addition to the variety, the cost of books is also a factor in drawing hordes of bibliophiles. The books start from Rs. 10 and go upto Rs. 2,600 for the set of four Vedas. The stall had recorded a large volume of sales last year as well.
There are other stalls that have books on mythology that are attracting large crowds, like those by Gayathri Parivar, Ramkrishna Math, Kabir Vani and many others.