Footballs, volleyballs, tennis and badminton racquets vie for space with hundreds of books on different sports. Sachin Tendulkar, Cristiano Ronaldo, Andy Roddick grin at visitors as they walk past shelves lined with books.
At the World Book Fair that started at the Pragati Maidan on Saturday, this was the first time sports was at the forefront, with an exclusive pavilion dedicated to it. With India hosting the Commonwealth Games in October, the theme of the fair aptly centred around sports — ‘Reading Our Common Wealth’. The pavilion has a special exhibit of books on sports, with more than 750 titles from 75 publications, in all Indian languages.
“It was a huge surprise to see more that 700 sports books here. The response has been overwhelming,” said Nuzhat Hassan, director of National Book Trust (NBT) that organises the annual event. The organisers have also invited athletes and sports journalists to interact with children. Vishal Sareen, an international chess master, will be here on Sunday to make a presentation on the game. ‘Flying Sikh’ Milkha Singh and hockey player Zafar Iqbal are the other guests. ‘All work, no play makes Jack a dull boy’. The organisers have taken the adage seriously. With more children keen to learn about sports, the theme looks to have hit a chord with the younger generation.