Treasure trove for book lovers

The  Bangalore Book Festival 2009 at Palace Grounds definitely has plenty of substance and presence in the City going by the number of visitors streaming in and out despite the wet and gloomy weather.

 There are over 200 booksellers and publishers from different parts of India, along with multinational publishing companies, all under one roof.

Several parents with their offspring in tow were doing the rounds of the stalls alongside students, working professionals, book lovers and browsers.
One lady was on a mission to pick up Kannada books for her neighbourhood book club in Jayanagar, since there are over 94 stalls for Kannada books alone at the fair, she explained.

“This is a perfect day for book lovers to browse through stacks of reading material and since my daughter Prerana, an eighth standard student of Delhi Public School is such a bookworm, I decided that we would spend most of Saturday at the book fair,” said Sindhu Patel, who was picking out books for her nieces and nephews also as gifts.
Pothi.com, a self publishing company that helps publish their books in print without any upfront costs using print on demand technology had lots of local writers also on display, which were not readily available elsewhere.
“We can ensure that even a single copy of a book can be produced cost-effectively and since we print books only after an order has been placed there is no wastage and minimal risk for the writer,” they said.

 “It’s like a sprawling book mall where any book lover can spend days rummaging through the piles of books available here. However, you have to do a lot of digging to get what you want as there is also a lot of irrelevant stuff you have to sift through especially when it comes offbeat titles. I have managed to find some of the books like Jun’ichiro Tanizaki’s title The Key, prescribed in my syllabus which I could not get at regular book stores,” said English literature student Kavya, who had come all the way from Mysore to scour the shelves of second hand book stalls like Blossom and Bookworm for her course.
“Obscure Indian authors are especially difficult to find in bookstores. I want to meet Murthy from Select Bookstore as he is a real book lover and has helped me find rare books in the past,” she added.

“There will be over a million titles on display this year in over 350 stalls. By involving celebrities and conducting interactive events like daily cultural events in the evenings, book launches, inter-school and college competitions as well as appearances by  well-known writers, we hope to encourage young people to come here in large numbers,” said B S Raghuram, programme director.
The festival is on till November 15 at the Palace Grounds, Gayatri Vihar entrance.

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