World Book Fair 2020: Promoting children’s literature, a tribute to 150 years of Mahatma Gandhi and more
New Delhi World Book Fair, India’s oldest after Kolkata, was inaugurated by former President of India V V Giri. It was first held in 1972 and saw 200 participants.
The theme for this year’s book fair is Gandhi: The Writers’ Writer. The theme aims to highlight the influence of Mahatma Gandhi on Indian literature and a few renowned authors in India and abroad. It will also focus on the aspects of Gandhi as a writer, editor, journalist, publisher, and a communicator whose voice touched a million hearts.
Participants at the book fair include publishers and books from Indian authors as well as acclaimed authors from abroad. This year, education in UAE is a focal point as are some publishers from Iran, Turkey and also, Warwick (who are promoting the Warwick literary fest that’ll take place in May 2020).
Here are some of the things to look forward to at World Book Fair 2020:
150 years of Mahatma Gandhi
To commemorate Bapu’s 150th birth anniversary, the World Book Fair has dedicated a section of Hall 7 at World Book Fair 2020 to Mahatma Gandhi’s life and work towards building our nation.
A famous quote (source unknown), that goes around the internet reads: Your children don’t listen to what you say, but watch what you do. It’s the best form of reality check for anyone, whether they have started their families or not. This year at the book fair, children’s reading is a popular theme with the entire Hall 7 and it’s various parts dedicated to children’s literature, learning toys, tools to make learning fun amongst other endeavours. Amar Chitra Katha, Karadi Tales are some of the stalls you can visit and meet a popular Tinkle comic character, Suppandi, in human form too.
Reading starts young
Take your kids along for a day trip to the World Book Fair that is on till this weekend, January 12. It’s a little piece of heaven for both kids and adults, especially if you love being around books and can’t do without the thought of a book whatever it’s form.
Not just paperbacks
Paperbacks have been the most popular kinds for eons now. There are super deals on coffee table books and hardbound books as well at the fair, hence making it easier for you to buy these for your collection, which you might consider a few times when purchasing outside. With audiobooks emerging as the next big trend in reading, or listening to a story, you can meet publishers who are releasing their work in all formats.
Languages no bar
Hindi, Urdu and other vernacular languages have a designated spot at the book fair each year. Give a different language a try if you haven’t already, and make reading in that language a part of your New Year resolution. One of the stalls also has a Chinese translation of books such as ‘Selected Poems of Jaishankar Prasad’ and ‘Dhuan and other Selected Works of Gulzar’.
From the entrance to the stall dedicated to the works of Mahatma Gandhi which features a LED silhouette of his portrait to a cut-out of him working a charkha (spinning wheel), to the books layered outside the Hachette stall, to a personal favourite, the Harper Collins corner. Speaking of the Harper Collins corner, it features a wall full of open books and talks about ours being ‘One Country Many Ideas’. Stop by to soak it all in and also make the most of this spot for several photo memories.
Book Launches and talks
Acclaimed author and co-founder of Jaipur Literature Festival, Namita Gokhale is out with her new book, Jaipur Journals, published by Penguin India. Readers can find the book at the book fair for their personal collection. It was unveiled at the curtain raiser of the soon-to-take place JLF.
Delhi-based Opthalmologist, Dr Seema Bajaj has written a historical fiction titled The Messenger, which is set in Agra. The book launched this year and is available at the book fair. Readers can also meet the author at the fair on January 9.
Where Kindness Spoke, a book by Shivani Arora, launched on Day 1 of the Book Fair (January 4). The book highlights the work of Dr Kiran Bedi as LG of Puducherry along with highlighting how purposeful kindness has been the driving factor behind this model of governance.
While going through all the halls is an exhausting task, the garden area and the food stalls outside will ensure you have your batteries recharged throughout your trip to this literary heaven. Attend a few talks and meet people who are working in the literary space and learn about the aspect of how stories form books and vice versa among other things at the event.
While going through all the halls is an exhausting task, the garden area and the food stalls outside will ensure you have your batteries recharged throughout your trip to this literary heaven.