Monday, January 04, 2010

33rd Chennai Book Fair


I am honestly disappointed and disappointed big time. This year Tamil books and software and games for children are in majority. Surprisingly even the choices offered by the stalls selling English books are limited. English fiction takes a back seat as engineering text books and reference books for various subjects rule the roost. The books offered by the sellers on the pavement next to Pachayappa's College also disappoint. Hardly 7 or 8 sellers and they too only have Mills n' Boons novels, some assorted fiction, loads of colouring books for children and engineering books.

I bought the following books at the book fair:

The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson.

A book on medicine a Harvard University book for Rs. 99.

A Shite History of Time a Parody.

A novel for children in Hindi.

love the growth and popularity of regional literature but if you keep setting up the same predictable stalls from the various religious missions and book-sellers offering the same novels that you would pick up any day at their showrooms! What is the point of organising a book-fair?

English translations of foreign novels, foreign comics, books on poetry and drama, there is such a wide scope for rare books, literary readings. Above all we need English translations of Tamil novels. Gems of Sujatha and Siva Sankari. When will the publishers wake up to the infinite possibilities of English translations of Tamil literature?

I don't know may be it is my frustration of not finding the books that I would have loved to see.

BAPASI needs to get its act together the stalls were not ready even on December 31 and the food-stalls were functional only late into the evening of December 31. Many people satisfied their hunger with fruit salad on December 31 and it cost Rs. 20.

Some stalls had bargains for two books for Rs. 99 stocking unsold assorted fiction.

Let us hope the next year offers better prospects.

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