Books played a key role in providing guidance to people in moving in the right direction, said Ilankumaranar, Tamil scholar and founder of Tiruvalluvar Thavachalai, here on Saturday.

He was speaking at the inauguration of the 27th annual book fair organised by Rotary Club of Tiruchirappalli at St. John’s Vestry Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School.

K. Meena, former Vice Chancellor, Bharathidasan University, who declared the exhibition open, said that books were the best assets any individual could be proud of. Books were the best friends with whom one could converse day in and day out.

Referring to the advancements on the information technology front, which paved the way for e-books, Ms. Meena said the satisfaction derived from reading the printed matter is incomparable.

Over 15 publishing houses from across the country and 40 book sellers have displayed books in Tamil and English in about 100 stalls. The fair will continue till February 16.

According to K. Natarajan, president of Rotary Club of Tiruchirappalli, the book fair has become an annual feature in the calendar of the club.

Scholars, including Indira Soundararajan, S. Ramakrishnan, and Sivasundari Bose, all writers, and Thangarbachan, film director, would speak at the venue every evening.

The event has been organised with the support of Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI).

A new addition to this year’s book festival is the food fair with about 40 stalls.