By hook or book: A fest for Bangalore’s bibliophiles

October 9th, 2009 - 11:30 am ICT by IANS  

Facebook By Maitreyee Boruah
Bangalore, Oct 9 (IANS) Come November and thousands of people will be seen browsing, reading and enjoying their favourite titles at the Bangalore Book Festival (BBF)-2009. And to catch even those who are not book lovers will be celebrities and a fashion show!

Now into its seventh edition, the 10-day book carnival will begin in the city’s Palace Grounds, about six kilometres from the city centre, from Nov 6.

The primary aim of the book festival is to generate the reading habit among youths in Bangalore.

“Our idea is to generate interest among young minds about books and increase their reading habits. As everyone loves celebrities, be it in the field of sports or cinema, celebrities who are also book lovers will be present at counters on all 10 days of the fair,” said B.S. Raghuram, programme director of BBF.

“Along with attractive book stalls with loads of interesting titles on the shelves, a ramp show with celebrities will also be held at the fair,” added Raghuram.

The event will be jointly organised by the Bangalore Booksellers and Publishers’ Association, Klub Class and Kannada Book Authority.

The Federation of Publishers’ and Booksellers’ Associations in India, New Delhi, will also be joining the event to popularise the reading habit.

“India holds the third place when it comes to publishing books in English. It is next only to the US and the UK. The country also holds a record of sorts in publishing books in 24 regional languages. Now, it is time to make the industry more vibrant by increasing readership,” said C.S. Sethi, president of the federation.

A series of street plays, cultural events in educational institutions, web-based campaigns on Facebook and Twitter would be used to promote the annual event among Bangaloreans.

According to the organisers of the book fair, around 200 English, 60 Kannada and 40 other regional language publication houses will send books to the festival.

“Subsidies have been given to Kannada publishing houses to encourage participation,” said Raghuram.

“The number of participating companies has increased too, especially in regional languages,” said Raghuram.

Although Kolkata tops the chart with the highest number of book readers in the country, Bangalore too has a fair share of the reading population.

A minimum entry fee will be charged from book lovers at the fair.

“We’re hoping to get lakhs of visitors at the book carnival and make a profit of around Rs.15 crore from the event,” said Raghuram.

“The book fair acts as a meeting ground for all and sundry. Along with getting the best of titles on various topics, the book fair also provides entertainment in the form of various cultural extravaganzas and good food at its food stalls,” added Raghuram.

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