Carnival for bibliophiles kicks off in Jamshedpur

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Spotlight on Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s life and philosophy

Jamshedpur , Nov. 16: Amidst nip in the air brightly lit stalls, piles of books stacked up or neatly arranged on shelves with book-lovers browsing through their favourite genres – the book fair at Jamshedpur looks every bit like a carnival for bibliophiles.

Welcome to 34th Jamshedpur Annual Book Fair, a one-stop shop for every reader’s want. More than 70 publishers are participating in the fair. This year, one person whose books are in demand is Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

‘After his death people are keen to know more about Vajpayee. Many visitors at the book fair told us that they are keen to know all details about the late Prime Minister, and that’s why they are buying books written by him as well as books on him at the fair,” said a seller. This year, almost every bookstall seems to have at least two-three books on the late PM Vajpayee.

“I bought books on cooking and spirituality, apart from the course related ones,” she said. Joyeeta Bandyopadhya, a teacher, was thrilled at the books available in vernacular languages. “I am a Bengali so it’s nice to see so many books in the language,” she said.

From crayons and office stationery to crafts and accessories, it had it all. There were the occasional college students and office-goers, but the crowd was dominated by parents who had brought their children along.

Ashis Chowdhury, general secretary of Tagore Society, the organisers of the fair said that every year the trend is for the award winning books and on people who are in limelight and this year too is not different.

He said that the fair is an equal mix of books from educational to fictional. The stress is also on books based on regional languages like Gurumukhi and Bangla. There are separate book stalls on Santhali and Punjabi.

Meanwhile, the officials of the society informed that this time in fair textbooks and recommended books are available in large numbers apart from others books. Previously, students could only get test papers from the stalls, so the organisers of the book fair had specifically asked the publishers to cater to the needs of the school going children as well. The Jamshedpur Book Fair will continue till November 25.

It may be mentioned that Tagore Society, a city based leading educational and cultural organisation, has been organising book fair from more than two decades. Celebrities like writer Mahashweta Devi, quizmaster Neil O’ Brien have participated in the fair. The organisers believe that the more children get exposure to a platform where publishers with so many books gather at one place. The interest in reading can thus be developed among children.

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