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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Chennai: 44th book fair registers drop in footfall amid pandemic

BAPASI said that the fair had received an unexpected turnout, with the youth thronging the fair in large numbers this year.

By: Express Web Desk | Chennai |
March 10, 2021 9:14:47 pm
BAPASI, Chennai Book FairAssociation members of Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI) during the valedictory ceremony.

The 44th book fair at Chennai’s YMCA Ground in Nandanam came to an end on Tuesday. Organised every year by the Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI), the fair, which is an extremely popular event in the city, was held from February 24 to March 9 this year.

Speaking to Indianexpress.com, Nagarajan, the vice-president of BAPASI, said that the fair has generated an income of Rs 8 to Rs 12 crore this year.

Over 10 lakh books by 650 publishers were available for sale and there were almost 700 stalls this year. One of the highlights of the book fair has been the daily book recommendations given by actor and MNM leader Kamal Haasan.

Speaking during the inauguration of the fair in February, Haasan had said that he would be suggesting a book each day to help inculcate the reading habit among the younger generation.

Like every year, publishers who had completed 25 years in the industry were honoured during the valedictory ceremony held on Tuesday.

Chennai book fair, 44th Book fair Children at the 44th Chennai Book Fair

Nagarajan said that the Chennai book fair has registered a footfall of only 12 lakh this year, with many people staying away due to the ongoing Covid crisis and fears of a second wave of the pandemic spreading across Tamil Nadu. “Many more people had visited us last year,” the BAPASI vice president said.

The fair had last year featured an exhibition on the Keeladi excavations. The event, which was spread across 3000-square-feet, had displayed replicas of the Keeladi findings in coordination with the Department of Archaeology.

“Despite the decline in footfall, we have to say that there was a positive response. Given the current situation, the turnout was encouraging. We feared that very few people would come. But that was not the case. Though there were fewer senior citizens this year, a lot of young people visited the fair,” Nagarajan said.

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