World Book Fair 2015, which was on in full swing at Pragati Maidan, offered the Capital a delightful spread of some great reads from across the world.
In the age of e-readers, it was heartening to see book lovers throng the venue that had 30 countries participating in the 23rd edition of the festival.
The fair came to an end on 22 February and had at least a thousand people thronging Pragati Maidan on Saturday. Saturday, being the second last day of the New Delhi World Book Fair witnessed over one lakh visitors.
The booklovers including school and college students along with their parents, teachers and friends could be seen browsing books, buying books at discounted rates at the stalls of various publishers and participating in the literary and cultural programmes.
This year’s World Book Fair which started on February 14 focused on encouraging reading habits in the youth.
The fair also opened avenues for foreign publishing houses to test waters and find prospective partners in India.
Many of the foreign publishers did not sell their books but instead put them on display for interested parties to potentially form partnerships with.
The foreign houses were also providing free language classes for interested students.
“Though we are only displaying the books, the youth have shown a lot of interest in language series books and Origami and those based on Japanese culture.
Kanji is the most popular book among children. About 20-25 youth came daily asking for the right place to learn the language from. Approximately 150 have registered their names for free learning classes,” said Rohit Kumar, a participant at Japan Book Cafe stall.
“People are more curious about Japan after recent visit of Indian Prime Minister Modi to Japan,” he added.
The South Korean publishers gave their books to the foundation that teaches language.
Besides language books, most people seemed to be looking for books related to music and culture.
Saudi Arabia’s stunning architecture stall called the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Indonesia’s traditional stalls were visitor’s favourites. with inputs from Ajita Singh