Spiritual, mythological tomes fare well at KIBF this year
Books on spirituality and philosophy and even mythological fiction seem to be doing rather well at the Kolkata International Book Fair this time. Publishing House Rupa & Co has put out a book on the Bhagvad Gita's teachings, My Gita (by Devdutt Pattanaik) and that appears to be doing good business. Both the Hindi and English versions of this book are selling well, says a spokesperson of Rupa & Co.
Another new children's book series (meant for 4 to 5-year-old kids) based on the lives of Ganesha, Hanuman, and other characters from The Ramayana are also popular among young readers.
"Mythological books like Kavita Kane's 'Karna's Wife', 'Sita's Sister', 'Menaka's Choice' and 'Lanka's Princess' are also doing well. We have noticed that readers are fond of books on lives and teachings of famous characters of Indian history like Akbar the Great, Gandhi and Chandragupta Maurya. Perhaps they find it inspiring," said Raju Barman, Partner of Rupa &Co.
Dey's Publishing, a large publishing house selling Bengali titles, has the same story to tell. A book on Swami Vivekananda, titled 'Ahare Anahare Vivekananda', penned by the celebrated Bengali author Shankar is flying off the shelves at the book fair.
"This hard cover dwells on the gastronomical taste of Swamiji and has interesting anecdotes on his food habits," says Subhrangshu Dey, one of the partners of Dey's Publishing. Two other books, 'Ekadosh Ashwarohi' by Shankar and 'Katha Amrita Saman' by Nrisingha Parasad Bhaduri, published last year are doing brisk business this year at the book fair. These two volumes have been published by Dey's Publishing as well.
Vivekananda's four volume biography, 'Ek Ananta Jeebaner Jeebani', penned by Sanjib Chattopadhyay, has been launched this year and is doing well. "The reason maybe that intolerance and violence are increasing in today's world. Terrorism is also on the rise and readers tend to seek comfort from religion, history and mythology", adds Dey.
What could be the reason behind more volumes on philosophical teachings are finding popularity?
"I think it is proportional to the troubled times we all live in. While religion is a narrow thing, spirituality is something that individuals are seeking out in order to attain inner peace. That is no longer likely to happen in a collective congregation anywhere in the world", Maina Bhagat of Oxford Bookstore told Millennium Post.