Gomti Riverfront Book Festival: Books on mythology & nationalism, regional publications draw crowds
Despite the ongoing setup activities, these enthusiasts eagerly perused the stalls, setting the tone for an engaging literary experience.
LUCKNOW: On the inaugural day of the Gomti Riverfront Book Festival, a substantial influx of attendees was witnessed by the afternoon session witnessed. Many of these attendees had seamlessly transitioned from concurrent speaker events. Despite the ongoing setup activities, these enthusiasts eagerly perused the stalls, setting the tone for an engaging literary experience.
In addition to boasting an extensive collection of books spanning 70 regional languages, the festival garnered notable interest in works authored by renowned writers. Amit Kumar Singh, the public relations head of the National Book Trust, the festival’s primary organiser, observed, “Readers exhibit a heightened attraction to authors like Amish Tripathi. The books that draw crowds often delve into themes of mythology, nationalism, or nationality.”
While the Crossword outlet emerged as a focal point for foot traffic, the festival’s stalls presented a noteworthy abundance of vendors showcasing books in regional languages -- a testament to the event’s commitment to diversity. “We envision this festival as a platform where a broad spectrum of books is accessible, transcending the confines of popular demand. While our shelves feature works by well-known authors, our speaker sessions also spotlight lesser-known yet impactful writers,” said Singh.
A distinctive highlight of this year’s festival was the presence of a stall dedicated to free Braille student-friendly books, established by the National Institute for the Empowerment of Persons with Visual Disabilities. Concurrently, the institute facilitated the issuance of Unique Disability Identity Cards (UDIDs) for visually impaired children. Bhatt, a representative from NIEPVD, reported, “Today alone, we have distributed 17 books.”
Adding to the festival’s uniqueness was a strategically placed post box where visitors could submit suggestions for titles, publishers, authors, and languages they wished to see featured -- a dynamic element encouraging active participant involvement.
PIC CAPTION: Books in 70 Indian languages and dialects on the stands this year. (Deepak Gupta)