Books are my first love. I’ve been devouring books since the age of 7. As an overweight and acned teenager, I was most uncomfortable around people. Books offered solace, and a much needed escape from reality. However, with the passage of time and an increase in adult responsibilities, reading took a backseat. This year, I’ve decided to get back on my reading game by signing up for the Goodreads Challenge. I’ve chosen to read 20 books this year.
To build my arsenal of books for the year, I visited the New Delhi World Book Fair at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. Buying books has always been a real treat. As a child I didn’t have access to much money. My grandparents enabled my love for reading by buying me books at every possible occasion. I remember visiting the Book Fair with my school and carefully spending the few hundred rupees my parents gave me for the occasion. Now it seems a fantastic luxury being able to buy as many books as I want!
A good book can have you lost for hours on end
The World Book Fair has been held at Pragati Maidan for around 45 years. It’s a major event in the publishing world, putting big and small industry players on the same platform. It’s also a fantastic way to promote upcoming books, sign co-publishing agreements and trade with international publishing houses. Above all, it’s the best way for readers to browse through thousands of titles under one roof.
Books, books and more books!
Organised by National Book Trust, India in collaboration with the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO); the event attracts major international participation. This year, it was spread across halls 7-12, in the midst of major construction and located quite far from the two entry gates. Shuttle services were available but there were long lines for these.
I went on Monday afternoon, which was perhaps the least crowded time to visit. The Book Fair has always been a popular choice for family outings, as well as school trips; so tends to get crowded. Major publishing houses like Penguin, Harper Collins, Hachette, Roli Books and Bloomsbury were definitely more crowded than other stalls.
There were many big publishing houses
The major problem was the lack of clear signage pointing to the halls. I ventured into Hall no. 7, the children’s area, and took many circles before I finally found Hall no. 11 with the big publishers. All stalls offered at least a 20% discount off the original price, making it ideal for stocking up.
Dedicated children’s area
There was an entire section dedicated to foreign publications, which were beautiful but quite pricey. There were also many seminars and activities; and a tent for children’s entertainment. Food and beverage areas were spaced out across the area, but it’s difficult to find a spot to sit in the melee. Despite the infrastructural difficulties, all book lovers will definitely be satisfied!
Examining my entire loot in the food court area
These are the books I bought this time. Can’t wait to read them!
All book cover pictures courtesy: www.amazon.in
Ticket price: INR 30 for adults
INR 20 for children up to 12
Entry and ticket purchase: Gate nos. 1 and 10; online tickets click here
Discount: 20% off original price in all stalls
Timings: 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Days: 6th January to 14th January 2018
Event rating: 4/5