Halfway through the mark, the book fair sees familiar faces relentlessly sticking out for their love of books.
On odd days, the book fair seems to get the best of crowds and on even days it seems to be in a different mood altogether. Helpers walking rhythmically with large heaps of books on their heads, people opening their lunch boxes while some munch on Gajak, greetings from the publishers and their subordinates, and this increasing familiarity with the place. After these 6 days, this place has started to feel more like home.
Academic books hold the front.
A large section of the book fair is occupied by the academic/educational book publishers. Among the many independent and family run businesses, one can find the older, familiar, universally recognized names towering above others. Oxford, Atlantic, Sage to name a few, these giants have their stalls all decked up to showcase their strength and the overall number of titles that they have commissioned over the years.
Some even have showcased the latest tech and tools that they are employing to reach out to the end-user. A rather impressive pavilion lined with these publishers, speaks volumes about the changing face of the non-trade publishing and the education in general. The future looks promising and filled with blue light.
Rare books have their own niche.
The hullabaloo over new titles, the shouting matches at second-hand bookstalls and the business that is done quitely in academic bookstalls, it all changes dramatically when you come across a rare bookstall. Serenity flows here, with the calmness of a conversation between two ancient souls. People don’t seem to be bothered about the prices of the books here, they just like to board the nostalgia bus and disappear in bygone era alongside the books, of course.
Branding bids and wishing walls.
There are some delightfully weird brands that are going even further south with their promotions. Some are using pop references to get the attention of the young-adults while others are trying hard to look focused on a dot. From designing the stalls to putting out funny banners and flyers, one can find everything here, even the humour.
A glimpse of the things to come.
As the publishers, writers and industry leaders gear up for the new year and more importantly the new decade, even the agencies, both government/non-government look ready for the future events of national importance.
The messaging is loud and clear, programs have been sketched out, the final stages are being tested and rehearsed. Let’s see how it all pans out.
See you on the 7th.