'Book'ed for the weekend at fest

94 stalls reserved for Kannada literature

'Book'ed for the weekend at fest

 In spite of this, the Kannada publishing industry is churning out around 3,000 titles a year,” said Rashtrakavi G S Shivarudrappa while inaugurating the seventh edition of Bangalore Book Festival 2009 (BBF) at Palace Grounds here on Friday. Deccan Herald is the media partner for the event.

Shivarudrappa commented on how more emphasis was being laid on English, which in turn was distancing the upcoming generation from Kannada books. “To rectify this and to encourage children to read Kannada, the language should be given more importance in academic education,” he said.

Jayarama Raje Urs, secretary of Kannada and Culture, who was one of the chief guests, pointed out that the Kannada Book Authority (a Government body) proposed to promote Kannada by organising book shows in every taluk and district.

More stalls
Booklovers in the City have lot more to look forward to this year. According to the organisers, 320 book stalls are available for the readers to browse through with Kannada publishers occupying 94 of them. “There were only 40 or 42 stalls displaying Kannada books last year. However, this year, we have 94 stalls for Kannada literature,” said BBF secretary Devaru Bhat adding that even stalls displaying religious and spiritual books, especially Islamic books, had increased from 2008.
Interestingly, 30 per cent of the publishers participating in the festival are from outside the State including Hyderabad, Delhi, Chennai, Varanasi, Ananthpur and Ahmedabad. It’s definitely encouraging,” he said.

Speaking about the declining reading culture, Bhat said that if people were provided facilities to read and browse through books, they would have interest in reading. In fact, Raghuram, programme director of BBF said that last year 10 crore people attended the festival and he was expecting 30 per cent increase in that figure, this year. Meanwhile, to keep people entertained, there will also be cultural programmes every evening.
Some of the publishers who are camping at the festival are Orient publishers, Penguin, Children’s Book Trust and second-hand bookstores like Book Worm and Rare Books.

List of cultural programmes

Nov 7: Ballet by Sri Ramana Maharshi School, Bangalore
Nov 8: Poets’ meet organised by Dr Siddalingaiah, president, Kannada Pustaka Pradhikara

Nov 9: Magic show by Kadaba Srinivas
Nov 10: Clarinet performance by Narasimhalu Vadavati
Nov 11: A play by Karnataka Nataka Academy
Nov 12: Music concert
Nov 13: Musical evening by Chandrika Gururaj and Vrinda
Nov 14: Comedy show

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