Sunday, January 22, 2023

Books all around

This gentleman was obviously very pleased to be at the Chennai Book Fair, which is in its 46th edition this year. The last day is today, and if you haven't gone over yet, do so as soon as you can. There are at least 700 stalls there - and there are a whole bunch of un-numbered stalls, so if someone tells me that there are 1,000 stalls there, I would believe it to be true - especially if you count all the booksellers on the pavement outside the YMCA Nandanam, who are there only because of the Book Fair, to also be book stalls. 

This year, for the first time, there was an exclusive International Book Fair built into the regular event. Although that was only over 3 days, it had publishers from over 30 countries participating. Didn't have a chance to see how that was, but from all accounts, it will be back next year. And a Sri Lankan publisher seems to have become part of the main event itself, so the international representation will continue even after the IBF has formally ended.

The other first for this event is an exclusive stall for LGBTQ+; works by and for members of the community, published by Queer Publishing House, an arm of the Trans Rights Now Collective. They have managed to stay on at Stall No. 28, which was the one originally allotted to them, despite attempts to push them out of sight. BAPASI, the association that has been running this Book Fair has certainly taken a leap of faith with letting them participate; hope they continue to keep the faith in the years ahead!


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