The ‘Assam book fair’, which concluded on Monday, recorded a sale of over Rs 5 crore and nearly 6 lakh footfall.
Booksellers and publishers from neighbouring Bangladesh as well as those from West Bengal and New Delhi attracted a large number of bibliophiles. Works of well-known author Arundhati Roy, novelist Jhumpa Lahiri as well as Assamese authors, including prominent poet and novelist Nabakanta Barua and Jnanpith Award Mamoni Raisom Goswami, were in heavy demand.
The second edition of the fair began on December 29 last and concluded on January 9 and was jointly organised by the Assam Publication Board and All Assam Publishers & Book Sellers Association. The Guwahati book fair, which used to be earlier organised by the board, and the north east book fair, which was held by the association, were merged into the ‘Assam Book Fair’ last year.
Assam Publication Board secretary Pramod Kalita said, “The book fair could not be organised in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Though we had hosted the fair in 2021, there was still fear of Covid, which resulted in poor footfall and business. Around 6 lakh footfall have been recorded this time as there was no Covid scare among people. Book lovers, particularly from the new generation, were seen visiting the fair premises every day.”
He added that there was an unprecedented, record sale of books, which points to the increasing interest in printed books, despite the availability of gadgets with advanced technology. “Print will never die. Book lovers always get attracted to printed copies. One will not get the taste of printed books in electronic gadgets,” he said.