The 15th Delhi Book Fair is first of all a fair – a mela. It is a retail event where all types of publishers from around the country come to sell their books to the diverse population of approximately 15 million in the Delhi National Capital Region. It is a chance for families to have an educational and recreational outing at the centrally located Pragati Maidan fairgrounds.
Nevertheless some professional publishers also try to invest the event with a larger purpose – apart from the book readings and author signings to help sell books – to the exchange of ideas and the networking that is essential to not only expand the trade in books but also to make it more productive and profitable for everyone involved. The issue is whether to continue slow and uncertain growth or to try and purposively (and thus collectively) give a serious push to the book publishing industry.
Of course our various associations will have to do a better job of this whole thing. Otherwise a professional and competent organiser will seize the opportunity to organise a great book fair for what with all its politics and problems is becoming a real city. Real cities or agglomerations such as Delhi want real book fairs with all their complexities.