27th Chennai Book Fair – 2004
Chennai is flooding with bookworms or at least there are so much of onlookers for this book fair. I’ve been a regular to this book fair for more than a decade. I’ve never seen so many of stalls or even so much of crowd for this book fair. The publishing industry is growing by leaps and bound every year. This year there are around 500 stalls sporting their books.
I peeked in by 11 am and by the time I was out, it was already evening and KaviKo Abdul Rahman was hosting a Kaviarangam. The specialty is this. Every evening a famous author or a poet host special shows. Also you can bump over your fave author during these special shows. You can have a personal chat with them and find out that they are also as normal as us.
Every year you could find a book or two doing well in all the stalls. This year it was tamil transalation of The Life and Times of Che Guevara and also Akira Kurosawa‘s tamil transalation of his autobiography called Something Like An Autobiography. Also doing well is the Sahitya Academy winner Vairamuthu‘s Kallikaattu Ithigasam. It has offlate recieved fave reviews and is selling hot cakes even when being prized at a huge 200 bucks. If you would have read it already on Ananda Vikatan, you know why it received the award. The treatment and honest handling of the subject earned vairamuthu this award, which is one of the biggest awards in Indian literature. Ofcourse there are many debates about Sahitya Academy’s selection of this book. It goes on forever.
I picked up a bagful of books and am planning to go back to buy the bound edition of Kalki‘s Ponniyin Selvan. When I was in Kavvya Book stall, I found Sujatha’s Vivathangal Vimarsanangal. The book looked dirty and soiled. It was a 1985 edition and wasn’t re-printed after that. The cover page has Sujatha’s pic in his mid-forties sporting a moustache and a few gray hairs peeking on his head. Kavvya is planning to bring a re-print of this book this year. But I picked it up because it was the last copy and one of the rare books of sujatha books. This old book is what I am currently reading and just can’t keep it down.
Uyirmmai Publishers have released some more books of Sujatha which include Sujatha’s Thernthedutha Sirukathaigal (best short stories by Sujatha), Aazhvaargal oru Eliya Arimugam and Srirangathu Kathaigal. Another interesting release is Aathavan‘s Enn Peyar Ramasheshan. This is one of the books that I was amazed to read. Uyirmmai publisher’s effort is commendable and their selection of books comes out of their passion for books.
Some of the books that I bought include Jayakanthan’s Jaya Jaya Shankara, Indira Parthsarathy’s Kuruthi Punal, Sa. Kandasamy’s Tholaindhu Ponavargal (remember this was one of the most successful serials in DD), Indha Nutrandin Sirukathaigal – Vol 1(Best Short stories of this century – Vol 1) and some red books. Gnani’s Theemtarikitta is back in print from last year and subscriptions are accepted in the stall. Kaalachuvadu publishers are selling fabulous paintings of Bharathiyar as a calendar. As usual, books like 30 days to Kundalini, Samaipathu eppadi, Saapiduvathu Eppadi are also found all over the fair and still selling hotcakes. lol.
Many drop in to book fair just to see what’s in store. But the fact that is irritating is that they manage to munch a popcorn bag or cotton candy when they browse thru the books and by which they make the book dirty. Books are one’s friends but they can’t take such abuses.
Some pics on Photo Blog