Bangalore Book Festival sees mixed response

Bangalore Book Festival sees mixed response

Though back after a gap of two years with much fanfare, the Bangalore Book Festival – 2018 got a mixed response this year.

“There has been a drastic decline in the footfall at the Book Festival. It might be due to the long festive weekend, the online sale of books and also due to the advanced technologies like e-books. In previous editions, we have done a business of up to Rs 80,000 on a single day. On weekends it would cross Rs one lakh. But now we are struggling to even make Rs 50,000 on the weekends,” said Nagesh, from Vasanth Prakashana, Bengaluru.

Last held in 2015, the organisers had expected a better response this year. However, very few books have been sold. Books like ‘The Girl in Room 105’, authored by Indian fiction-writer Chetan Bhagat, is still available at the stalls.

“We have to make the young generation read books or thousand such festivals will fail. If compared to other cities the response was satisfactory here. But even when we are offering 20% discount on the books, the response is poor,” says Arunachalam, founder of Vikatan publications, Madurai.

Shivaraj, a student of management studies and a book lover said, “Earlier there were less philosophical and religious books. Now they have increased. These need to be balanced by the organisers. There are hardly two or three stalls selling books on science, management, business, novels, and other subjects. I think that would benefit a lot of poor students.”

However, the organisers believe that the festival served its purpose. “There was a good response from the senior citizens. We would have organised the festival on regular days rather than the festive week. But we are seeing a good footfall today. We expect more crowd on Sunday,” said Venu, member executive committee of Bangalore Book Sellers and Publishers Association (BBSP).