The 11-day expo will have 212 stalls; organisers plan to bring in more school students

The seventh edition of the annual Madurai Book Fair, being organised by the State government and Book Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI), will begin in the city on Thursday.

Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, Collector Anshul Mishra said that the fair would feature 212 stalls spread cross 48,000 sq.ft. Of these, 110 stalls would be filled with Tamil books, and 81 with English books. Further, a total of nine stalls have been allotted for multi-media purposes and three for the sponsors.

The main objective of the fair, he said, was to encourage reading habit among people as it was vital for development of the nation.

Besides a meeting with the Chief Education Officer of Madurai to encourage schools to bring their wards, he said that invites had been sent to all Collectors in the State, asking them to send school students from their districts.

Cultural events

A separate space of 5,000 sq.ft. had been allotted exclusively for holding cultural events on all 11 days of the expo. The events planned include ‘students’ role,’ ‘docudrama,’ and speeches by eminent personalities, besides debates. A new addition this year was a performance by ‘Dindigul Sakthi’ and students of Dolphin School. A drawing competition had been arranged for children in the age group of 3 to 13 on September 2 at 9 a.m.

To promote the event, the Collector has said that a publicity campaign had been undertaken through banners and hoardings.

He would also be taking to the air through various radio stations to seek better public participation in the book festival.

In order to provide adequate security, a police outpost would be established at the venue alongside fire tenders.

Rise in sales

R.S. Shanmugam, BAPASI president, said that a flat discount of 10 per cent would be given on books with no additional discount for students. While around three lakh books were sold in the last edition, he expected the sales to touch five lakh this year. Many new books, especially for children, will be introduced this year.

K. Pasumpon, Assistant Director, Tamil Development, said that as a special feature, payment through credit cards would be accepted this year also. The fair would be open between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. on all days between August 30 and September 9. The venue was Tamukkam Ground and entry is free. Water fountains would be installed all across the venue.

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