Kolkata book fair sees Rs. 10cr sales so far; paperbacks still a hit, say organisers

Kolkata book fair sees Rs. 10cr sales so far; paperbacks still a hit, say organisers
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KOLKATA: Books worth around Rs. 10 crore have so far been sold at the 42nd edition of International Kolkata Book Fair, a development that testifies the love for paperbacks even in today’s digital age, feel the organisers. On an average, the book fair is witnessing a turnout of over 1 lakh people on working days, and it was around 2 lakh during the last weekend despite the change of venue to Central Park in Salt Lake, Sudhangshu Dey, president of the Publishers and Booksellers Guild, told PTI here.

The book fair, which was opened for public on January 31, would conclude on February 11.

“Unlike in past editions, this time we have seen that most of the visitors are buying books, mostly in Bengali. The highest purchase till now has been made by a person from Mumbai, who bought Bengali titles worth Rs. 1.4 lakh,” he said.

Other high purchases in the range of Rs. 25,000-40,000 have been recorded, Dey said, adding, many visitors also bought books worth Rs. 5,000-6,000.

“This shows that while the present-day generation of readers will undoubtedly search Google for general knowledge and relevant information, they cannot be weaned away from the smell of paperbacks and bound volumes of classics and modern day fictions,” Dey said.

Russian publisher Alena Novokshonova told PTI that it was a global trend of new-age readers adapting to e-books and other forms of digital content, but at the same time lining up before book stores for the works of their favourite writers in the fiction genre.

According to Sahitya Akademi award winner and veteran Bengali writer Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay said, new technology does not come in the way of time-tested traditions like book reading.

“Whether I read Anna Karenina or The Idiot in printed words or on the laptop or a computer tablet, what difference it would make? Love for literature is more important,” he said.