The Telegraph
Thursday , November 7 , 2013
 
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Fair focus on quality books

Bibliophiles, be happy.

The 29th Jamshedpur Book Fair is all set to take off on November 15.

The 10-day fair, arguably one of the most sought-after events in the city’s calendar, will be held at Tagore Society’s Rabindra Bhavan grounds in Sakchi. Tata Steel managing director T.V. Narendran will inaugurate the event.

A wide range of books in English, Hindi, Bengali, Gurmukhi, Odia and Santhali will be up for grabs. However, unlike the previous two years, the 2013 edition will have no theme. “This year, we don’t have any theme. It will be a general fair. The emphasis will be on quality rather than quantity,” said Ashis Chowdhury, the secretary of Tagore Society.

However, at the same time, Chowdhury rued the lack of space at the venue.

“Our limitation is space, for which we cannot think of increasing the number of stalls. Though we want to invite all major publishers of the country, there is no scope for it,” he added.

The number of stalls — allotted to publishing houses from Jharkhand, Delhi, Calcutta, Odisha and other states — will again be restricted to 72.

The organisers will try to match the standards of other book fairs in metropolitan centres by hosting a slew of events such as seminars on literature and inter-school competitions during the 10-day event.

A panel discussion on “books versus electronic media” will be organised to discuss the importance of tomes in tech age. Cultural events by students of Tagore School of Arts will add colour to the show. An inter-school quiz competition is also on cards, with 14 schools confirming their participation.

Chowdhury further said that last year’s fair had recorded sale figures of Rs 90 lakh. “We are expecting to touch the Rs 1 crore mark this time, despite the fact that children have become more inclined towards Internet these days,” he added.

Tagore Society organises this annual book fair with a primary aim to promote reading among those who are not into the habit and also to give a wide array of choice for those who love books.

“Students are our main emphasise because the fair has always been popular for offering test papers for board examinations and of course the wide variety of literature is always there,” Chowdhury quipped.