Book Enthusiasts in Guwahati Make Assam Book Fair Successful

The book lovers could end the year 2022 and start the year 2023 with the thing they love and are passionate.
Assam Book Fair in Guwahati
Assam Book Fair in Guwahati
Himadri Kalita

People might have ended the year 2022 with many ups and downs and started the year 2023 with new resolutions and promises to themselves. But book enthusiasts might feel that differently as Assam Book Fair was inaugurated at the end of 2022 and is continuing till January 9, 2023.

The book lovers could end the year 2022 and start the year 2023 with the thing they love and are passionate.

Assam Book Fair was inaugurated at Assam Engineering Institute playground in Guwahati’s Chandmari on December 29, 2022 in the presence of reputed Indonesian performing poet Tara Noesantara. The book fair will continue till January 9, 2023.

At the inauguration ceremony, 15 valuable books published by the state publication board were released in the presence of education department adviser Dr Noni Gopal Mahanta, eminent author Dr Govinda Prasad Sarma, State publication board vice-chairman Sumanta Chaliha, secretary Pramod Kalita and several others.

This year’s book fair is different as for the first-time book fair was organized outside the city in five other places including Dhemaji, Nalbari, Jorhat, Diphu and Bongaigaon.

Assam Book Fair
Assam Book Fair

Pramod Kalita said, “Publication Board Assam did organize several book fairs outside Guwahati however, the Assam Book Fair was launched last year as a joint venture with All Assam Publishers and Book Sellers Association in the city which made a huge success. After receiving huge response from the book enthusiast making the event successful, we planned to take this book fair outside the city in at least three different places including Guwahati.”

“At first, we planned to organized in Dhemaji, Jorhat and Bongaigaon. And as planned, we organized the book fair at Dhemaji and Jorhat successfully. While the book fair was going on in Dhemaji, on the request of our state cabinet minister Jayanta Mallabaruah and Nalbari Raas Committee, we organized in Nalbari also during Raas Mahotsav. We also decided to organized in Diphu on the request of Deputy Commissioner which will be held from February 6 and it will continue for one week. Likewise, on March first week, it will be organized in Bongaigaon for one week,” he said.

Assam Book Fair
Assam Book Fair

Speaking on impact of book lovers visiting the fair after being organized at other places Kalita said, “Last year’s book fair was a huge success and this year’s decision to take it outside the city was based on the success. A positive vibe was created last year and so this year too we received the same response despite being organized at other locations.”

Till January 3, over Rs. 2 crores sale was made in book fair organized in Guwahati. While in Jorhat, Rs. 1 crores sale was made followed by Dhemaji and Nalbari with Rs. 50 lakhs sale each.

The Assam Book Fair had stalls not only from the states of India but also from outside the country.

The following are the states and publications from India and outside the country:

  • Delhi- 10

  • Kolkata- 17

  • Bangladesh- 11

  • Mumbai

  • Jharkhand

  • Harpaercollins

  • Penguin

  • National Book Trust

  • Sahitya Akademi

  • Motilal Banarsidass

Kalita, further detailing about the number of books published by Publication Board Assam said, “This time the publication house has published 90 books out of which 52 were reprinted and 38 new books were printed.”

Assam Book Fair
Assam Book Fair

“In next few days we will release a book on Deendayal Upadhyaya which is being printed as of now. We are also planning for 100-page biography books on eminent persons of Assam such as Bhupen Hazarika and several others. At first, we will release 20 books on different languages including Assamese, Bengali, Hindi and English,” he added.

Meanwhile, the publishers from Bangladesh expressed their views on publicity which affected their sale at the book fair.

The seller said, “The sale this time is not huge due to publicity. We could not make any publicity due to which we do not have much buyers at our stalls. When we visit Kolkata, we get huge response as in they make a line to buy books. Although we are receiving decent response over here, however, we feel that if we had made publicity then people might have been aware about us and would have throng at our stalls.”

Assam Book Fair
Assam Book Fair

The publishers had been putting stalls at the book fair since 2018 however, this time several stalls were put up post covid.

On the other hand, book stalls from other publishers such as Penguins, Harpaercollins, Sahitya Akademi said that this year they made huge success and sale in comparison to previous years were good.

One of the book enthusiasts at the book fair said, “I had kept list of books that I wanted to buy at the book fair this year and I was happy that I found all of them I wanted to buy. Every year I wait this time moment when I get to buy books from different stalls so I can snuggle inside the blanket and spend time with the only item I adore so much.”

Assam Book Fair
Assam Book Fair

The initiative that was taken jointly by Publication Board Assam and All Assam Publishers and Book Sellers Association to organize Assam Book Fair at different parts of Assam was appreciated by book enthusiasts as many wishes to throng at the book fair however, they cannot due to time constraint and travelling. However, this year people across Assam could visit book fair at their district itself and buy books.

The book lovers wish for more such book fairs being organized at their districts and if possible, plan to organize at other districts which were left out due to experimentation this time.

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