Chennai Book Fair: Books worth Rs 12 crore sold, 15 lakh attendance recorded
Chennai, March 7: The 45th Chennai Book Fair drew an attendance of 15 lakh and sales of Rs 12 crore, organizers Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI) said.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, BAPASI secretary SK Murugan said that “books worth Rs 12 crore were sold this time at the fair and despite the lack of the Pongal bus, we are satisfied with how things have progressed over the last 18 days”.
“Last year we had attendance of around 10 lakh, but this time it is over 15 lakh. People had been indoors for a long time, they wanted to hang out with friends and family, buy good books and have a good time. Students and other visitors have flocked to the stalls in large numbers in recent days. During all these years, the fair has never been held outside the window of Pongal. But this time, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we held the event in the February-March period and the sales were very good,” he said.
Murugan added that they wanted to rectify the mistakes they made last time and therefore implemented measures to provide clean toilets and hygienic food stalls.
The event kicked off on February 16 after being postponed several times. The fair had nearly 800 stalls, including those set up to promote the state government’s ‘Illam Thedi Kalvi’ scheme.
“Modern literature, novels, autobiography, progressive writings, history books sold in large numbers. Like every year, readers bought the ‘Ponniyin Selvan’ collections in large numbers. Of the 800 booths at the fair, at least 200 featured Kalki’s classic novel. Many prominent young writers sold their books in large numbers this time. A 19-year-old author from Dharmapuri asked us to provide a mini booth. We spoke to her and provided her with the space and she was happy that her books were purchased by readers…” he said.
He also said that the sale of books related to Dr. BR Ambedkar has increased. As people used to search for books related to the Dravidian ideologue Periyar in previous years, they are now drawn to works on and by Ambedkar, Murugan added.
Organizers said the state government used to provide around Rs 75 lakh each year for the book fair, but this time it gave them an extra Rs 50 lakh due to losses incurred due to the pandemic. .
When asked if they would increase the frequency of the annual fair, organizers said they had presented the idea to the government and expected a positive response.