With an aim to preserve and popularise Kannada

ROOTS STRENGTHENED

The four-day Kannada book fair, organised by Kannada Pustaka Pradhikara at the Ravindra Kalakshetra on JC Road, concluded recently with more than 80 per cent of the books being sold.

People who came for the fair were avid readers of Kannada literature, novels and poetry.

There was a separate book section for kids as well.  The weekend was packed with families who brought along their kids who patiently sat and browsed through their favourite comics and books.

Apart from a 25 per cent discount on each book, there were more than 94 stalls with as many as 70 publishers contributing their stocks for display at the fair.  Only Kannada works and their translations were on sale.

Among the publishing houses that took part in the fair were those from Mysore, Bellary and Hampi. Private book houses such as Prism Book House, Sudha Book House and Chethan Book House also participated.

There were books on art, culture, architecture, history, literature and even short stories by well-known authors in Kannada. Books spanning different genres including fiction, religious literature and children literature were on display.

There were books by Dattatreya Ramachandra Bendre, Masti Venkatesha Iyengar, Kota Shivaram Karanth, Kuppali Puttappa Poornachandra Tejaswi and Chandrashekar Kambar to mention a few.  

Sharing his thoughts about the book fair, Dr Siddalingaiah, chairman of Kannada Book Authority, informed that close to one and half crores were transacted during the four-day fair.

“There’s an awakening among people that Kannada language needs to be preserved and popularised in a big way. Book production, art and marketing of Kannada books have improved a great deal and reached world class standards,” said Siddalingaiah.

He opined that teachers, students, government officials and even police personnel were among those who visited the exhibition.  “They picked up two to three books each. There were about 5,000 to 10,000 people a day,” he added.

Those who came for the fair said they liked the collection that was on display. In addition to plenty of books that served as ideal references were books for children including the ‘Chandamama Series’ and ‘Panchatantra Tales’.

Shruti Rao, an arts student of MES College, said she picked up Kuvempu’s works. “These books help one improve both spoken and written Kannada. They make for excellent reading as well. Some of these books are good for reference,” she said.

Meenakshi Kumari, a lecturer with the Maharani College said, “There were some rare books by Bendre and Masti that you wouldn’t get in the market. I bought four or five books. In a way, fairs like this introduce today’s youngsters to Kannada language and literature.”

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