Date: 5-13 Jan 2019
Venue: Pragati Maidan
By all that’s going around, the book lovers are heaving it great this New Year. The New Delhi World Book Fair 2019 is on in full swing at Pragati Maidan from Jan 5th. It is on till next Sunday, January 13th, 11 am to 8 pm. The theme this year is ‘Book for Readers with Special Needs’. The guest country is Sharjah.
We decided to be among the early birds, or (book)worms if you please, so visited the fair last Sunday. Pragati Maidan is under renovation so the fair is restricted to only handful halls. All the halls that we visited were swarming with visitors. And it was not just people who came to potter, but mostly book lovers of all ages, who were there as if on a mission. Books are here to stay for sure.
In keeping with the theme this year, there were stalls offering audio books, tactile and braille books for the specially-abled. There was an art competition held for visually impaired children the previous day. We saw many on wheel chairs totally on their own in the fair. More power to all we say!
The other interesting aspect that caught our eyes was the revival of Hindi publications. In the last couple of years, we did find too many visitors in Hindi book stalls. The narrative has clearly changed this year. Hindi publications had more visibility and there seemed to be a renewed interest given the foot fall at stalls selling books in Hindi.
In addition there were Author’s Corners where book discussions were being held. In one such corner, a poet was enthralling the audience with her rendition of beautiful poetry in Hindi about love.
Incidentally, ticket prices have been reduced this year and it is free entry for children below 14 years, senior citizens and differently-abled. Tickets are available at Pragati Maidan gate numbers 1 and 10 and selected metro stations.
Promoting literacy and reading habit that is on decline, the World Book Fair present a vast range of books on myriad subjects from India and overseas. Additionally, this fair provides a platform for B2B transactions among authors and publishers, networking, entering into co- publishing facilities, translations and copyright arrangements along with reprinting of rare books. It’s a wholesome experience. New Delhi World Book Fair 2019 is a must do this season.