They would have a grand launch in the same theatres as the film. And often, these slim volumes outlived the time a movie ran in the theatre. They were the Tamil film song books that put a song on everybody’s lips, whether they could afford the price of a movie ticket or not.
Though old-timers fondly recall memorising lyrics and reading trivia, publishing houses say the market for the books has been dwindling. “Nobody buys song books anymore. We will stop printing them soon,” says P Sivamudhu of Sri Dhanalakshmi Puthaka Nilayam, which brings out song books for Re 1 each.
A couple of decades back, there were dedicated writers who watched matinee shows of a new release. They would quickly note down the lyrics in shorthand and rush to printing presses to bring out song books for the evening show. “Producers brought them out and sold them in theatres,” recalls film historian and writer Film News Anandan.
Full report here Times of India