Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bookworms make a beeline for Palace Grounds

Bookworms make a beeline for Palace Grounds

Special Correspondent
Many small Kannada publishers from rural areas make their presence felt
— PHOTO: K. MURALI KUMAR

PAGE-TURNERS ALL: The organisers hope to attract more visitors once the weather clears up.
BANGALORE: Neither the steady rain nor the chill come in the way of booklovers who have been checking out the Bangalore Book Festival which is under way now. Some 30,000 people have browsed and shopped here so far, according to the festival organisers.

Festival Project Director B.S. Raghuram said the event has not yet attracted the desired numbers despite improved facilities. But the organisers are not disappointed as they reckon the inclement weather has been discouraging two-wheeler riders.

The turnout is sure to go up once the sun shines on Bangalore, he said.

Stalls
The festival, which ends on November 15, has over 340 stalls equipped with telephone and electricity connections as against 228 stalls with limited facilities of the previous edition. Over 1.5 lakh English, Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam titles in all are on the display.

While frontline English publishers such as Oxford University Press, Penguin (India) and Rupa Publications and a couple of Hindi publishers have been attracting larger number of visitors, leading Kannada publishers, distributors and sellers such as Kannada Book Authority, Sapna Book House, Akshara Prakashna, Ankita Prakashana, Sahitya Bhandara, Kannada Sahitya Parishat, Navakarnataka Publications and Kamadhenu Prakashana and a couple of Tamil book sellers are also doing good business.

Interestingly, many small Kannada publishers from rural areas have also caught the attention of booklovers.

Subsidy on rent
The Kannada Book Authority, a partner in the festival, has decided to extend 50 per cent subsidy on the rentals of the 96 Kannada bookstalls here on the condition that they display and sell Kannada books only.

Meanwhile, some publishers have complained that only big stalls located at the entrance or in corners have been doing good business at the cost of those in the middle or at the tail-end.

To this, Mr. Raghuram riposted: “Every stall is erected with equal importance: business depends on skill and display.”

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