One of the big events in Chennai’s Calendar is Chennai Book Fair that happens every year around Pongal festival. This is one of the largest book fairs in India, attracting over 10 Lakhs this year & having in display over 10 Lakh titles as well. Being an ardent reader of books & hailing from a publishing house family (LIFCO) I make it a point to visit this every year. This year the venue has been shifted to more spacious YMCA Grounds in Nandanam, making it convenient for me to visit. Bapasi, the publishers associations of South India which conducts the book fair every year with support of Tamil Nadu Government have made elaborate arrangements than previous years. When I went today it was quite crowded for morning hours. I was glad to see lot of small publishers and many new titles coming up in Tamil across subjects.
This year during this visit, I didn’t buy any books for me. I bought quite a few books for my son, including Amar Chitra Katha’s new releases on M.S.Subbulakshmi & Srinivasa Ramanujan; Pustak Mahal’s Children Knowledge Bank (I grew with this series during my childhood & have preserved my set, but now it is updated vastly & in colour).
After spending few hours I left for home, thinking with the barge of E-Readers (Kindle, iPad, Android) what will happen to these events few years from now when books are not available in physical format anymore. Where will people gather for discussing about books, exchange comments & other networking activities with interested minds. May be we will do all this and more through Virtual World in FaceBook?