I can just copy/paste the first para of my last year’s Chennai Book Fair post here. It would still be appropriate and make sense. So here you go the same para with small changes to the dates.
The 28th Chennai Book Fair 2005 opens today[7th Jan 2005] and will go on till 17th of this month. Organised by the Booksellers’ and publishers’ Association of South India (BAPASI), it’s happening in Quaid E Millet College,Opp to Hotel Connemera. If you are expecing some dazzling girls there, don’t bother too much. They are all concentrated in Nungambakkam stadium where the Carlos Moya and Srichappan are fighting for the TATA Open Tennis title. The last couple of years have been successful for the organisers and the participants of this book fair. The crowd was enoromous and sales reached it’s peak. As Sujatha says, it’s a cycle. Book reading habit will come back and people will pull out the heads that are stuck to their televisions. It’s happening. I’m planning a peek throughout the next week in undecided intervals.
The newer stuff begins here 😉
Come January and the carnatic kutcheris logout and it’s time books take the centre court along with the tennis stars playing Chennai Open. More than 3 lakhs people visited the last book fair of 2004 and that explains the frenzy crowd. As Chennaites lovingly say its a yearly Khumbh Mela for books. It’s a pride of Chennai. Some serious book lovers however consider the crowd to be very superficial and stay out. For just 2 rupees as entry free, anyone would be interested to barge in. I agree that there are more onlookers than actual takers but it in noway stops someone from taking a spin. If you would do that I am sure you would have alreay spent a good 1000 bucks on worthy books.
The tamil publishing has come over the age and if you can compare the quality of the print to the western styles. Badri Seshadri‘s Kizhakku Pathippagam has also joined the band wagon and their online bookstore Kamadenu is already out with new releases. I’m expecting them to make a difference. Uyirmmai is ready with the set of new books to be released. Here are some books of Sujatha and other newer books to be released in the book fair. Sujatha’s new book Kadavulin Pallathakku is compiled by Desikan. Kadavulin Pallathakku is a compilation of essays of Sujatha which haven’t been seen in form of a book.
As usual Vikatan has also compiled columns in form of books and we know thats where the crowd is. I have a bunch of books to be bought inclusive of the Ashokamithran‘s shortstory collection which has two parts and each part is priced at 750 bucks. This book fair is probably the best place to buy such costly ones because you get a straight 10% discount on them.
Just like every other year, the evenings will have talk shows by the writers. Coming Tuesday [11th Jan] evening, I am expecting a huge crowd to join. Jayakanthan will be talking amidst the crowd and it’s certainly going to be a great show. If you are in Chennai during these days plan your schedules around the Chennai Book Fair. I am sure you wouldn’t regret later.