Sunday, January 14, 2007

The book fair of Chennai


Paid a visit to the 30th Book Fair in Chennai and was surprised to see the healthy turnout of visitors.

Some observations:

The average age of the buyers of books in the vernacular tongue was above 35 years.

However, young visitors (less than 25 years) were found flocking the stalls of vendors specializing in English books and CDs.

Books translated from other languages have thinned and the stalls vending such works lacked lustre. Experimental reading seems to be waning and readers seem to prefer treading on safer tracks, buying known authors.

Bottomline: I felt glad for both the sellers and the buyers. Reason: The former have started seeing book-selling as a profitable proposition while the latter for not having lost touch with one of the time-tested ways to expand minds. I envied the young visitors, as they have started brushing shoulders with literary figures, at a very early age.

I visited the fair with a list. When a returned home, I found I could do justice to the list. My list had Thirumandiram (Thirumoolar's epic), Manoj Das' short stories and a succinct English version of the holy Koran.



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