With only 62 stalls in 1985, the Bhubaneswar Book Fair started a revolution of sorts in Oriya publishing industry
Now it is 400 plus stalls and many such fairs at State and district-level replicate the success story in their own way. But are the publishers getting the expected response? Do the footfalls match the earlier ones? Though it is a very sensitive issue and no one wants to go on record, it is sure that so many fairs in the Capital have diluted the response. But books are selling and the buyers are picking their titles as before.
More than 1.5 lakh titles on display and 250 new books on the `new releases list’ at the current book fair, literary books are selling more and they remain the favourite, said founding member and treasurer of the committee Uttam Charan Nayak. So many book fairs might have affected the footfalls, but the phenomenon has no bearing on the oldest book fair, he said adding a publisher from Cuttack who started with only one stall in 1985 is currently having five stalls to display his titles.
On literary books, sales representatives of Orissa Sahitya Akademi said apart from the three major book fairs in the Capital they are also on display at other regional ones at Kendrapara, Bhadrak, Balasore, Angul, Sambalpur, Rourkela, Dhenkanal, Boudh, Nayagarh, Puri, Berhampur and planning to participate at Phulbani in March and the trend to buy Akademi books is encouraging.
From the rough estimates of 2008, 2009-10’s sales were impressive, they said. However, officials of National Book Trust (NBT) felt that too many book fairs are affecting the sales and many regional publishers from Kolkata had admitted that there was a downtrend.
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