Guwahati: The ongoing 32nd Guwahati Book Fair, which began on December 22, witnessed a lukewarm response from visitors on its third day on Monday.
The 12-day-long fair, organised by Publication Board Assam, is currently underway at Assam Engineering Institute playground, Chandmari.
The fair was inaugurated by Assam CM Sarbanada Sonowal on Saturday. “It was unprecedented success as the number of people present on the inaugural day was not less than 1,000,” claimed Pramod Kalita, secretary, Publication Board Assam.
This year’s edition of the book fair saw participation from 122 publications from the state alone, 12 from Bangladesh, 10 from West Bengal, nine publications from New Delhi and one from Jharkhand.
However, compared to Northeast Book Fair, which is organised by All Assam Publishers and Book Sellers Association (AAPBSA), the participation from book publishers of the state in the ongoing fair was less. While the Northeast Book Fair had 172 publishers and more than 274 bookstalls, the Guwahati Book Fair was able to host only 125 book stalls.
Appearing optimistic about the success of the book fair, Kalita said, “This time we saw large number of people coming to the book fair on the second day, which means people have started coming to the book fair. Prior to this edition, we used to sale books between Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000 till the second day. But this year we have recorded sale of books worth Rs 55,000 till the Day 2.”
Explaining the differences against other book fair, Kalita further said, “Our book fair’s distinct feature is that we are simultaneously organizing seminars, interaction sessions with young and veteran writers apart from keeping our focus on particular community. Last year, we had Karbi and Barak community-specific sessions. This time we will be organizing special session in collaboration with Nepali Sahitya Sabha.”
However, some of the sellers on condition of anonymity said that the number of visitors this time has not been as expected and “sale were not as expected as well.”