On the must-buy list appeared to be Immortals of Meluha and for those wanting to trace Shiva’s journey from there, the Shiva Triology by Amish Tripathi. Giving them competition were the erotic hit of the year Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James and Red Sorghum by Mo Yan, the story of a Chinese woman working in a distillery. Jeet Thayil’s novel set around a Mumbai opium den Narcopolis and Poor Little Rich Slum by Rashmi Bansal that again revolves around Mumbai and its infamous Dharavi slum flew off the shelves as well. Books on Swami Vivekananda were in demand. Textbooks, test papers for ICSE and ISC did not fare badly as well.
Ravinder Singh’s I Too Had a Love Story and its sequel Can Love Happen Twice seemed to be the teenager’s choice. In non-fiction, youngsters opted for Stephen Hawking and Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl. Not content with the film alone, many could be seen picking up Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga.
There were about 72 kiosks selling books in English Hindi, Bengali, Gurmukhi, Sanskrit and Santhali.
Moving beyond fiction, non-fiction and study material, there were attractive tomes on art and craft, glass painting, sketching and much more to bring out the aspiring artist in visitors.
Elsewhere, Partho Ghosh’s 20-minute sketches had crowds queuing up to get their likeness done. Partho, a mute artist, sketched more than 50 portraits of visitors at a nominal price of Rs 100 each.
On the sidelines was a seminar on Swami Vivekananda organised by Tagore Society.
People have gone crazy about the Immortals of Meluha and Fifty Shades of Grey. And it is not just here that these books are creating a rage, it is across the country
Santu Ghosh of Mermaid Books, Calcutta
We come here every year to browse. The book fair is one of the most awaited events of the city where we get all the books on a single platform. We have already bought Stephen Hawking’s books and will look for Nicholas Sparks and Cecelia Ahern
Ipsita Mishra, Class XI student of Sacred Heart Convent School
I have mainly come here for my son to get some sample papers and reference books. The book fair is a centre of knowledge and I think every parent should bring their children here. I never miss it and spend a good amount of time
Namrata Bharadwaj, mother and teacher
The chill in the air hit the footfall this year but there were more buyers than just visitors this time. About 75 per cent of those who came were serious buyers. We are proud that we have managed to complete 28 years of this mega event and would continue to do so
Abhay Sarkar, chairperson of the book fair committee.