New Delhi World Book Fair 2018 which was opened on January 6 is indeed a treat for book lovers in town. With the objective to impart knowledge and inculcate the habit of reading among people — from children to adults — the book fair is seen as an exploratory journey for beginners and a celebration of literature for avid readers.
We understand that not every one of you would get time to visit the Book Fair and explore every corner to see what it offers. That is why we went around and explored the fair in detail. We bring to you everything that you should take away from this Book Fair, things that you must see if you plan to visit and notable inclusions in this year’s edition.
Spread over 30,000 sq m, the book fair with more than 1,500 stalls from around 800 publishers from across the country in different languages is a feast for the bibliophiles.
Being organized by the National Book Trust (NBT) in collaboration with India Trade Promotion Organisation, the New Delhi World Book Fair with the theme ‘Environment and Climate Change’ called for increased awareness and efforts to protect the environment and climate.
“The world of books is unique. Books enrich the life of people,” Union Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar said while declaring the fair open through a video message.
“The theme of the fair ‘Environment and Climate Change’ is significant. We are living in the 21st century. We have been exploiting the natural resources provided by the Earth. It is necessary that we all need to work together for the protection of environment,” Javadekar said, adding, “We should all try to conserve the environment through simple methods like reducing the use of plastic, vehicles and disposing-off electronic items like mobile phones carefully.”
While welcoming the guests at the inaugural ceremony, NBT Chairman Baldeo Bhai Sharma said that India may have a tradition of Kumbha Mela after every 12 years but New Delhi World Book Fair is the annual Maha Kumbha of books.
“NBT has been bringing out books in different Indian languages, promoting books and reading culture throughout the country through book fairs, book exhibitions among others,” he said, adding, “NBT has also recently brought out books in Sanskrit and initiated the scheme of ‘Har Haath Ek Kitab’.”
Highlighting the importance to protect environment, distinguished environmentalist Sunita Narain said the impact of climate change is seen in India.
“The victims of the climate change are the marginalised and poor farmers of India,” she said, adding, “Though a number of programmes are being held but there is a need to translate them to reality. The theme of the book fair would create awareness among people.”
“Over 80,000 book lovers have thronged the venue at the opening day of the book fair,” NBT official Kanchan Sharma told Buddy4Study.com.
Some of the attractive features of the fair include a pavilion dedicated to reading material for children and a number of activities such as seminars, panel discussions, storytelling sessions, workshops on creative writing and illustrations among others are being organized.
The Children’s Pavilion at the book fair witnessed a variety of short story books, syllabus books, cartoons and colour books as well as stationary products drawing a good crowd.
This section has an international rights exhibition of nearly 500 titles published in English, Hindi, and other Indian languages.
Although Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Enid Blyton and Ruskin Bond remained preferred picks for children, there appeared an increase in demand of comic series and fables.
Author’s corner is another attraction at the book fair as visitors get chance to interact with some of the well-known writers such as Ruskin Bond, Jerry Pinto, Michael Creighton, Paro Anand, Mridula Garg and Ranjit Lal.
Over 20 countries from the European Union (EU) are participating at the book fair with showcasing some of the latest publications in English and other European languages along with panel discussions, talks, photo exhibits and cultural performances.
Apart from the EU nations, more than 40 countries including Canada, Nepal, China, Egypt, Pakistan and United Kingdom are participating in the book fair.
CEO speak is another attraction of the grand event where over 100 CEOs of various publishing houses and organisations in the book trade have come together to share and exchange ideas about Indian and international book trade.
The fair is seen as a grand affair for book aficionados with many literary activities such as panel discussions, talks, workshops, children’s activities, screening of short films, special photo exhibits as well as cultural and musical performances.