Monday, February 8, 2010

Books for V-Day?

Everyone loves a good love story. With Valentine's Day less than a week away, the world of fine print is once again waking up to good old romance.

"So what can this bond be called which does not abide by the rules - which does not care for political correctness, which just flourishes on its own strength of love, compassion, companionship and belonging. Romance?" writes Medha Gujral Jalota, the wife of bhajan king Anup Jalota, in an anthology of 101 short tales, Chicken Soup for the Indian Romantic Soul.

The book, released as Valentine's Day special at the World Book Fair, is a compilation of voices from across the country that offers a peek into real life stories soulmates. Recalling the day Anup Jalota proposed to her, Medha says as he went down on his knees, there was a loud clap of thunder. The oppressive heat gave way to a flash of lightning and slashing rainfall. "See", he said, "even the gods approve and are giving their blessing". They married in 1995 after living with him for a year. The book has been published by Tranquebar Press & Westland Ltd ahead of Valentine's Day Feb 14. The short stories are recapitulations - mostly walks down the memory lanes that describe chance meetings culminating into lasting bonds, old loves, sacrifice, romantic omens and first crushes. We scheduled the release of the book so that it would be at the bookstores just before Valentine's Day, but it is a title that we think will do well all the year round," Deepthi Talwar, senior commissioning editor of Tranquebar Press-Westland Ltd, told IANS.

The popularity of romances as a literary genre and as a business has been fuelled by the entry of Mills & Boons in the Indian market, Talwar said.

Business for Mills & Boon India has doubled by 50 percent in 2009 compared to 2008."We are growing by 10 percent every quarter," said Manish Singh, the country manager (sales) of Harlequin Mills & Boon India, which prints and distributes M&B titles in the country. Priced at Rs.125, the books target women - mostly mothers, housewives and working woman between 30 and 35 - who live within the framework of families.

Three new titles by Penguin Books-India add variety to the cache of popular romantic literature.

Full report here Hindustan Times

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