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National book fair ends on a buy high

A 10-day national book fair ended on a happy high in Dhanbad with a huge number of school and college students making a beeline for Kohinoor Ground, the venue of the event.

The fair, organised by Samay India in association with Pustak Mela Samiti, witnessed a footfall of 48,000, with close to 48,000 of the 3.5lakh books that had been put up for sale, flying off the shelves.

According to organisers, former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam charmed the Dhanbad crowd with his work Turning Points: A journey through challenges witnessing a sale of more than 90 copies —the highest in the fair.

Turning Points, a Harper Collins publication, was priced at Rs 199 per copy. It found takers from all sections of the society,” said Chandra Bhushan, secretary of Samay India. He added that the list of other bestsellers included Madhushala by Harivansh Rai Bachchan and The story of My Experiments with Truth by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, besides classics like Godan by Munshi Premchand and A Discovery of India by Jawaharlal Nehru.

“Though the crowd was not as big as it would have been in a metropolitan city, like Ranchi, we are happy with the turnout. We managed to sell 10,000 more copies this time around as compared to last year. The popularity of reading has not ebbed despite television, the Internet, mobile phones and social networking,” Chandra Bhushan said.

The work by young writers like Munmun Ghosh, Supratim Ghosh Dastidar and Aditya Jain also found many takers.

The organisers said around 80 kiosks, put up by 50 publishers like Bhartiya Gyanpith, Samay Prakashan, Rajpal and Sons, Sadhna Prakashan, Vijay Books, Vani Prakash, Lokmitra Prakashan, Bright Publishers, Ranvijay Prakashan, Deepa Prakashan, had come up at the fair.

“The fair was a success because it stocked-up some rare titles, which are otherwise not available at regular bookstores. I got a book on general knowledge for the Jharkhand Teachers’ Eligibility Test,” said Jharia’s Birendra Keshri, a civil services aspirant.