Anna flavour at Delhi Book Fair

New Delhi: Anna Hazare seems to dominate the season with influence of the veteran Gandhian being felt at the ongoing 17th edition of the Delhi Book Fair too.

Posters and stickers on walls of the stalls as well as pamphlets and leaflets themed on Anna Hazare and his movement against corruption are seen across the various halls of Pragati Maidan, the venue of the Fair, which opened here on August 27.

Books on Hazare are in demand. "A biography of Anna Hazare in paperback has generated a lot of interest.

We have sold over 100 copies of the book till now," says a stall owner on the first day of the week-long fair.

Priced at Rs 95, the biography by Prateeksha M Tiwari in English "Anna Hazare: The New Revolutionary" and its Hindi translation "Krantidoot: Anna Hazare" has chapters on major scams in the country as well as a primer on the Jan Lok Pal Bill.

"We have also reviewed queries by several students about books on the Jan Lok Pal Bill," according to a salesperson manning the Diamond Books stall.

Apart from Hazare, the stall also displays books by Kiran Bedi such as "Mudde aur Drishtikon"(Issues and Perspective).

The entrance to the Saraswati House stall sports a large picture of Anna Hazare engraved with support for the India Against Corruption movement.

Several other stall owners have printed posters on "Anna Books" to attract visitors.

Books on revolutions and leaders from across the world such as Che Guevera and Nelson Mandela have been displayed prominently at the stalls.

Copies of books on Mahatma Gandhi including his autobiography "My Experiments With Truth" are also seen displayed at several stalls. A hardbound copy of Mahatma Gandhi`s letters to Jawaharlal Nehru nestles among other titles at a stall.

"People come looking for classics and autobiographies. We are selling them at discounted prices. Detective fiction and limited editon books have been selling good," says the salesman manning a discounted price bookstall.

"I love books and frequent book fairs to scout for fiction and detective stories. Earlier I could get secondhand books at Rs 25 each but now the mimimum I can find is priced at Rs 100 each. I guess it is the inflation," says Suraj Vincet, who picked up a collection of fiction that he expects to last him "a good one year."

Books for children, including manufacturers of e-learning guides attracted both children ranging from tiny tots to teenagers as well as adults.

"I have bought DVDs for Biology and Chemistry as I do not get enough practice time during practicals. These are very informative and am confident that they will help me understand the concepts better," said Alvira, a student of Class XI.

Discounts of as much as 80 per cent prompted visitors to buy a range of books. "I have bought volumes on social science and sociology as I have got a good discount," says a civil service aspirant. Stalls of competitive service examination guidebooks and books also saw a good number of visitors.

The 17th Delhi Book Fair themed on "Travel and Tourism" and scheduled to run till September 4 is also attracting publishers from UK, China and US among other countries.

"There are 670 stalls with over 275 publishers at the Fair this year," says Shakti Mallik, General Secretary, Federation of Indian Publishers.

"We have a wide range of books from UK publishers like J K Rowling of Harry Potter series, to coffee table books to fiction," says Sam Perry, who is manning the "world of books" stall from UK which is selling used wholesale books.

Shakti Mallik says, "The Book fair gives an opportunity for readers of all ages and professional backgrounds to get hold of new books that have been published over the past one year."



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