Sunday, 30 August, 2009

Inauguration Delhi Book Fair

The 15th Delhi Book Fair along with the stationary fair was inaugurated on 29 August 2009, by Union minister and Congress leader Salman Khurshid, at Pragati Maidan (Halls 8-12). Also present at the inauguration were Jawahar Sircar, Culture Secretary with additional charge of I&B, Dr. Subas Pani, secretary Planning Commission, RC Govil chairman FIP and Rajiv Yadav executive director of ITPO. At the inauguration just below the auditorium in hall 8 of Pragati Maidan was a display of books from the North East on loan from the Sahitya Academy, approximately fifty from each state. The walls were covered by biographies of some of the more celebrated authors of the North East.

At the inauguration the speakers addressed the issue of declining readership and the advent of other forms of media which some people perceive as threatening to books in their present form. They also spoke about the focus of Delhi Book Fair on publishers from the North East. More about the North East will be learnt with the seminar on “Publication scenario of North East states-past and present,” organized by the Tripura Publishers Guild and the FIP on 31 August from 10 am to 1:30 pm. This will be followed by a panel discussion on Copyright Issues organised by Kitab from 2 pm to 4 pm, and a seminar on “How to get maximum from Frankfurt Book Fair” organized jointly by the FIP, CAPEXIL and GBO from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

The first day saw a slow start to the fair with most exhibitors still opening up and stacking their shelves till late afternoon. Some of the exhibitors we spoke to at the fair said that the fair was a very prolonged affair and because of the duration there wont be any serious business enquiries in the first one week and all of the pile up will be on the second weekend and the last two days of the fair. From a business point of view quite a few exhibitors were enthusiastic of the business they would get at the fair -- both retail and wholesale. Business networking will mainly happen on the sidelines and not at the fair as there will be a loads of visitors to the fair looking for good books and even better deals.

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