The Delhi Book Fair, an annual event, is a paradise for avid readers, publishers, and authors from all over the world. As a book enthusiast, I was thrilled to attend this year's fair, which promised to be bigger and better than ever before. Post-pandemic, this year’s book fair gave a sense of returning to normalcy.
After my office on Saturday evening, I went to the venue of the fair located at Pragati Maidan. I was delighted to be among so many book lovers who were all eager to take their love for books two notches above. The atmosphere was relaxed and enjoyable as people browsed through shelves and discussed the various titles available.
The selection of books at the fair was vast, ranging from fiction and non-fiction to children's literature and textbooks. I had plenty of time to browse through all of them, taking my time over certain titles before deciding which one to buy.
It felt great being surrounded by so many people who were passionate about reading. Conversations were buzzing around every corner. Vendors also made sure that visitors could enjoy some delicious snacks while browsing too which only added to my delight in being a part of this event. There were books everywhere, covering every topic and genre imaginable, basically something for everyone.
One of the first things I noticed was the sheer number of publishers present at the fair. Indian publishers like Penguin, Harper Collins, and Rupa, as well as international publishers like Bloomsbury and Hachette, had set up their stalls, showcasing their latest releases and bestsellers.
One of the first things I noticed was the sheer number of publishers present at the fair. Indian publishers like Penguin, Harper Collins, and Rupa, as well as international publishers like Bloomsbury and Hachette, had set up their stalls, showcasing their latest releases and bestsellers. I spent a lot of time browsing through the different stalls, flipping through pages, and chatting with the representatives.
I spent a lot of time browsing through different stalls, flipping through pages, and chatting with the representatives. I was particularly enamoured by the section on regional literature which featured books in Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, Punjabi, and other Indian languages. This section gave me a glimpse into the rich literary work of India, which I might not have explored otherwise.
Apart from the publishers' stalls, there were also a few author interactions and book launch events happening simultaneously at different sections inside the exhibition centre. In one section, an author was launching her new book and signing copies. It was heartwarming to see the author's excitement as she held her book in her hand. The audience was enthusiastic and engaged in asking questions about the book's inspiration, the writing process, and the author's plans.
With the theme "Azadi Ka Amrit Mohatsav," the fair features over 750 books on freedom martyrs and the national movements in English and all major Indian languages. Here you will get to see the stories of those freedom fighters who sacrificed everything to liberate the country. What will attract you the most in this pavilion is the statue of Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh and his prison diary. The diary has been put out on display here by his descendants with proper respect.
Let me inform you that the statue of Shaheed-e-Azam is daily brought to the forefront every morning at the book fair by the Shaheed Bhagat Singh Brigade. The volunteers look after the security of this idol.
This idol has become a centre of attraction for the youth in the fair because in his statue Bhagat Singh is sitting and his hands are tied with chains. We get a glimpse of his struggle and sacrifice for freedom through the statue. Every visitor loves to take selfies with the statue.
In Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav Pavilion, you can get to know the stories of the unsung and famous heroes of freedom through the best of theme-based books. At the same time, from the revolution of 1857 till 1947, one can easily understand the story of independence. The story of independence has been told through photographs, maps, sketches, and excerpts from books.
As the day progressed, I realized that the Delhi Book Fair was not just a place to buy books but also a celebration of the written word. It was a place where book lovers and authors could come together to share their love of literature and engage in meaningful conversations about books and reading.
The fair also had some great activities for people of all age groups. There were book launches, workshops, author readings, and debates. It was a great opportunity to interact with people from different walks of life and to learn from their expertise.
Overall, my experience at the Delhi Book Fair was fantastic. It was a feast for the senses, with the sights and smell of books and literature filling the exhibition centre. I left the fair feeling inspired and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such a vibrant and exciting literary event.
Special offers such as discounts or freebies with multiple purchases from single vendors also enticed many book lovers. As far as payment methods go, both cash and card payments were accepted without any issues, making it convenient and hassle-free for everyone involved in the transaction process. How could have I refrained from not buying books for myself after getting lost amidst endless shelves? So, I filled my bucket with some amazing reads.