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Back to books!

There is nothing to read between the lines in what happened on ?between the covers? scene in Lucknow last year. There was a thing that happened distinctly and with a consistency in Lucknow for which 2005 should be remembered.

india Updated: Jan 06, 2006 00:17 IST

There is nothing to read between the lines in what happened on ‘between the covers’ scene in Lucknow last year. There was a thing that happened distinctly and with a consistency in Lucknow for which 2005 should be remembered.

It was quite obvious that the Y2K5 had been a boon for revival of book reading.

The year gave the city back, to some extent, a visible literary bent of mind.

Lucknow saw revival of book reading sessions and literary gatherings and read meets.

It began with Caferati’s read meet. This nationwide literary club launched it’s Lucknow chapter last year and had three read meets—the first one was lukewarm but the three others that followed attained some profile with a lot of people with literary bent of mind from IIM, journalism circuit, literary circuit and budding authors joining the meets to read out their literary pieces and discuss literature over a cup of coffee.

What Caferati took birth for English readers-writers Kadambini did for Hindi lovers. This Hindi literary club took birth at the fag end of 2004 but actual growth came in 2005. This club reads, discusses, and writes Hindi literature.

Lucknow saw four self book-readings by some celebrity authors—Leela Seth read her new book, So did Tom Alter of his ‘The longest run’, Ambresh Mishra read his Mangal Pandey, And Anand Yashpal’s ‘The second nose and other short stories’ was read. The year also saw Debasis Chatterjee’s ‘Circle of Love’ getting released and a session on it.

Two books made waves—the first one was Harry Potter’s that became the ‘maximum copies sold in a day ever in the city’ book.

It saw the kind of advanced bookings that city had never ever seen. And this was followed by Babloo Srivastava’s ‘Adhora Khwab’ about underworld. The city also had it’s biggest book fair ever this year at Balrampur grounds.

“People are getting back to books—both adults and children, as TV now has started bugging them,” said Chander Prakash who now is almost like a ‘book activist’ to the city.

The books stores that till few years ago were dusty and deserted, are bracing themselves up as people’s interest in reading is getting renewed. While most of the bookstores went for a make over this year, one new bookstore got added to the city.

Now, the book stores have bestsellers lists every month. And last year the best sellers in Lucknow were Michael Crichton’s State of Fear, Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie, Ian Cladwell’s The Rule of Four, Jeferry Archer’s False Impression, Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code.

The shelves in bookstores are increasing; the books in shelves are increasing.

And people are getting into habit of spending hours sifting through those shelves and then picking up a pile of books while they walk home.

First Published: Jan 06, 2006 00:17 IST