However, the usual concerns regarding the business of books remained the same. The stalls owners claimed that most visitors came to the book fair to browse, not to buy. Probably, they would later order the books on an e-commerce site, which offers massive discounts, if he doesn’t prefer an ebook, said a stall owner who did not want to be named. Another stall owner said most visitors come to the exhibition looking for special books, especially dictionaries, at a discounted rate. They are not interested in picking up a random book off the shelf, he said. He bemoaned that most visitors seem to be interested in picking up an educational CD for their kids than pick up a book.
The event, jointly organised by the India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) and the Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP), saw more than 225 publishers and distributors are participating. This year, the theme of the nine-day event was Literature in Cinema. To mark this, there was a small exhibition, delineating the journey of a story from written words to the celluloid. There were titles like Devdas, based on Sarat Charandra Chattopadhyay’s bestseller, Junoon, based on Ruskin Bond’s A Flight of Pigeons, and Samskara, a 1970 Kannada film based on the epoch-making novel by UR Ananthamurthy, who passed away recently.
The complaints of the exhibitors may be true to a certain extent, but things are not so black-and-white. Unlike the other book fair organised in Delhi in February every year by the National Book Trust, the New Delhi World Book Fair, the current exhibition was markedly smaller in scope, both in terms of stalls by publishers and bookshop owners and business expectations.
While most major English-language publishing houses based in India had their stalls, it was the Hindi-language publishing houses that attracted more visitors, both young and all. All major Hindi-language publishers, including Pustak Mahal, Rajkamal, Kitab Ghar, Gita Press and Vani Prakashan, which recently completed 50 years of its existence, saw encouraging footfalls. There were visitors ranging from young college students to housewives to office-goes to retired persons who showed a kin interest not only original Hindi works, but also bestselling international titles translated into Hindi. There were also stalls displaying books in other regional languages, including Tamil, Malayalam, Bengali and Assamese.
Visitors also thronged to exhibitors of specialty book, such as books on computer sciences, medicine and most importantly, spirituality. Another interesting feature of the exhibition was the stalls selling second-hand and used books in Rs 100 or less per copy. Some stalls even sold three books for Rs 100. There were also stalls selling rare books, which also attracted people looking for the first edition of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and such.
Graphic novels, a relatively new genre that seems to merge a reader’s interest in visuals with written words, also found their takers. There was a big crowd at the stall of Raj Comics, the largest comic book distributor and publisher in India, known for, among other titles, Super Commando Dhruva series of comics.
There was also a big interest in the Chacha Chaudhary comics by the inimitable Pran, who passed away recently at the age of 75. Since his passing, the publisher, Diamond Comics, has reissued all Pran comics since 1971, including titles involving the antics of Pinki, Billoo, and of course, the grand old man Chacha Chaudhary, with his dramatic white mustache and his red turban, and his sidekick from the planet Jupiter, Sabu, fighting evil. The publisher said the books are doing quite well, especially among the adult readership, who is buying entire Cacha Choudhary collections in bulk for its nostalgic value.
In terms of technology, this year, the organisers developed a mobile app to facilitate visitors navigate venues and stalls. The idea was to offer visitors a hassle-free experience, said the organisers.
The New Delhi World Book Fair, is hosted at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi and it is India's<refhttp://kolkatabookfair.net/kolkata-book-fair/history-2/></ref> oldest book fair after the Kolkata Book Fair. The first New Delhi World Book Fair was held from March 18 to April 4, 1972 in roughly 6790 sq. mts. area with 200 participants. It was inaugurated by V. V. Giri, then President of India.
This annual (previously biennial) event takes place in winters, and is organized by the National Book Trust (NBT), India. Since 2013, New Delhi World Book Fair is organised by National Book Trust (NBT) in association with India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) annually at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi under MOU with ITPO.
Apart from publication, NBT promotes national readership policies and also supports the growing markets of neighbouring countries. The National Centre for Children's Literature (NCCL), a wing of NBT organizes events for children in the Children's pavilion to promote children's literature and the national 'Readers Club' movement.
India is the third biggest market for English publications with almost 12,000 publishers that publish around 90,000 titles a year in more than 18 languages. India's main publishing output is in the various Indian languages. The 2006 NDWBF witnessed 1,294 exhibitors on 38,000 sq. mts. (2004: 1,205 / 32.546) and attracted 1 million visitors including those from foreign countries such as USA, Bangladesh, France, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Canada, Malaysia, Mauritius, Nepal, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Germany.
Year-wise Fair Details
The 20th New Delhi World Book Fair 2012 was held at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi from February 25 to March 4, 2012. The fair was inaugurated by the then HRD MinisterKapil Sibal. A corporate social responsibility initiative was undertaken by the publishing industry to launch the Pink Ribbon Book Tag at the Book Fair to support the Indian Cancer Society for a humanitarian cause. The theme of the 20th World Book Fair was 'Towards 100 years of Indian Cinema'.
The 21st edition was scheduled during February 4–10, 2013 at Pragati Maidan. Under an MoU, the annual event was organized jointly by the National Book Trust (NBT) & India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO) with the theme being 'Indigenous Voices: Mapping India's Folk & Tribal Literature' and France as the guest country.
The then HRD Minister Shashi Tharoor inaugurated the Fair, presided by Dr. Karan Singh, M.P. & Chairman Indian Council for Cultural Relations. Some of the events held for the first time included cosplay, school librarians' meet, artist & illustrators' gallery and the counsellors desk in the Children & Youth pavilion. An annual National Debut Youth Fiction Writers meet was also held to promote greater interest in readership.
The 22nd edition was held during February 15–23, 2014 at Pragati Maidan. The Guest of Honour country was Poland, while the theme was 'Kathasagara: Celebrating Children's Literature'. New Delhi World Book Fair 2014 witnessed journalist Abhigyan Prakash launching a book titled, Development and Communication Morphosis written by Gaurav Sharma.
The 23rd edition was held during February 14–22, 2015 at Pragati Maidan. The guest of honour country was Singapore with Korea as the focus country. The theme of the Fair was 'Suryodaya: Emerging voices from North East India'. The slogan of the fair was Books opening the mind. Doors opening the future. The Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani inaugurated the Fair, while HRD Minister of State Upendra Kushwaha inaugurated the Children's pavilion. National Book Trust under the Young India Library series was to put up for sale a new edition of a book on parables covering a new dimension of Swami Vivekananda for developing scientific temper in children.
The 24th New Delhi World Book Fair was held during January 9–17, 2016 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi with China as the Guest of Honour Country. The theme of the 2016 edition was cultural diversity 'Vivid Bharat - Diverse India'. The message of the Sino-Indo partnership for the New Delhi Book Book Fair 2016 was the connecting rainbow -"Renaissance of Civilizations- Understanding through exchanges".The Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani inaugurated the fair.
The 25th New Delhi World Book Fair is organised between January 7–15 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi . The organizer of the NDWBF 2017 is National Book Trust- NBT, Ministry of Human Development, Government of India in collaboration with ITPO India Trade Promotion Organisation. The theme presentation of the 2017 edition is 'Manushi - Books Written on and by Women'.The focus of the Book Fair is on the 'Culture of Reading'. The Minister of State HRD Dr Mahenra Nsth Pandey will inaugurate the fair. The highlights of the fair will include 60 years of NBT history in the theme pavilion & children activities in the Children Pavilion including activities to celebrate Swami Vivekananda's birth anniversary as 'National Youth Day' on 12 January 2017. The book fair will witness author interactions, book releases, national seminars on -Best practices in Developing Reading skills & Research perspective in Developing Content for Children". The Director of the NDWBF 2017 Dr Rita Chowdhury, Director of NBT, and under chairmanship of Shri Baldeo Bhai Sharma, Chairman of National Book Trust, Ministry of Human Resource Development,Government of India will overlook the functioning of the fair.
The 26th New Delhi World Book Fair, January 6–14 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, was organised by the National Book Trust (NBT) in association with India Trade Promotion Organisation. The themed was environmental issues such as climate change, global warming, and water pollution.