The 33rd Guwahati Book Fair has attracted a huge crowd soon after its opening on December 30. On the first three days itself, a large number of books have been sold bringing smiles to the face of the publishers.
Speaking to Pratidin Time Digital, Secretary of Assam Publication Board, Pramod Kalita said that it’s a very positive vibe that people are buying books in large numbers. “I cannot say the exact number of books sold in book fair but I can say that the books have sold in large numbers compared to earlier years,’ said Kalita.
The Secretary further stated that normally people visit book fair in the evening but on the first day of the New Year, visitors from across the state have thronged to buy books since morning. “We are very happy that during this hour of crisis also when the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the normal life, people have come to buy books,” the Secretary added.
While asked about the readers who have lost interest in reading books, Kalita said that the allegations on people of losing their interests in reading books are actually a myth. “We have heard this allegation since long which is true to some extent but during the lockdown period, people have again gained their interest in reading books. People got ample time in their home and therefore they have gained their interest back again in books,” added Kalita saying that it is not only reading books but they are collecting the books which is also a good vibe.
He further said that the well-known publishers and stalls which have large number of books have received good response from the people.
Talking about young writers, the Secretary said that there is nothing about young or senior writers but definitely a young writer needs time to establish but once it clicks, the books are sold in large quantities.
Meanwhile, a reader who visited the book fair said, “It’s been nice that the book fair happened this time. We have missed the earlier book fairs due to anti-CAA movement and COVID-19 but today I feel good that many people have visited the book fairs. I also bought books for myself and my children and it feels good that I have got the books that I wanted to buy.”
On the other hand, a seller from Banalata publication said, “We have got good response from visitors this time. It is good to see people visiting book fairs to buy books. Earlier, it was like people visits book fair to loiter here and there but this time people have come to actually buy books.”
He also said that the people aged above 50 years searched for books of writers like Homen Borgohain, Rita Choudhury, Anuradha Sarma Pujari, etc but the young generation searched more for novels of writers like Chetan Bhagat, Durjoy Datta, Ravinder Singh. “It doesn’t matter of which writer they have bought the books but the good thing is that people are regaining the habit of reading books which was at a time lost,” the seller said.