Some cheers for book lovers, upward trend in sales

There is some good news for book lovers. If the sales of books at Prasaranga, the publishing wing of the University of Mysore, is any indication, there is no need to lament that the reading habit is diminishing among the people due to the invasion of electronic media.

The sales of books published by Prasaranga recorded the highest ever — amounting to Rs 53 lakh last year (2011-12). “The sales was encouraging in 2010-11 also — at Rs 49 lakh — and an indication to the rise in interest among people to buy and read books,” said director of Prasaranga C Naganna.

November sales, on account of Kannada Rajyotsava, is an annual feature at Prasaranga and attracts thousands of people. Apart from regular book lovers, the exhibition-cum-sale also encourages those reluctant to buy books, as a huge discount of 33.3 per cent is offered on a majority of books. Naganna said the discount is an incentive to encourage more number of people to buy more books and read them.

The exhibition, launched on November 1, will be held till November 30 — except on holidays — from 9 am to 6.30 pm without lunch-break. The usual feature is that the rush during the last few days forces the authorities to extend the expo by at least a week.

Deputy director of Prasaranga Sudarshan said: “Now the average sales is amounting to Rs 25,000 and the month-long sales is expected to fetch at least Rs 6 lakh. The sales may exceed the target as sales is more towards the end.”

Recalling that Rs eight lakh worth books were sold at the exhibition last year — over 40 days — he said next week onwards English titles will also be available and is expected to attract more buyers.

Speaking about the activities of Prasaranga, he said popular titles such as ‘Thatvashastra’ by S Radhakrishnan (translated into Kannada) were being re-printed and the proposed sales outlet at Ramaswamy Circle would bring book nearer to readers.

Naganna said he was observing that young people were thronging the exhibition this year, which is a good sign. Chinnamma, from T Narsipur, who has completed BEd and is preparing for competitive exams, said she was mainly buying books that would help her in the exams, but she was also buying books for general reading out of interest.

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