Visitors can also take a look at what is on offer at over 30-odd food stalls at the food mela

It is the dream destination of bookworms in rock city, with rows and rows of books on every possible subject or area of interest available in Tamil and English and spread over 70 stalls.

The annual book fair, organised by Rotary Club of Tiruchirapalli is on at St. John’s Vestry Anglo Indian Higher Secondary School grounds in the city on Saturday. This is the 27th edition of the fair organised by the club. The fair will be open from 2.30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Fiction, poetry, medicine, philosophy, competitive examinations, health, religion, cookery, psychology, short stories, social science, history, and modernism and you name them they have it in Tamil and English. Some stalls offer a discount ranging form 10 to 50 per cent. Great deals such as 3 books for Rs. 250 are available and loved by visitors.

The objective of the book fair is to create new readers and promote the reading habit among the public. “The attraction for books is dwindling over the years and we hope to motivate the younger generation to develop the habit of reading books,” said J.Rajinikanth, co-chairman of the book fair.

He added that this year, the club is distributing around two lakh coupons aimed at providing free entry for school and college students. “Both private and government institutes within a radius of 30-40 km in and around Tiruchi district, including Manapparai, Pudukkottai, and Thuraiyur are being targeted and we have completed distribution of around 75 per cent of the coupons,” said Mr. Rajinikanth.

According to him, around 1,500 and 4,000 people visited the fair on Saturday and Sunday respectively, which was a good response overall. But the target is to reach at least 15,000 footfalls a day.

Apart from books, there are paintings, educational and software CDs and DVDs, posters and stickers available. Interested persons can also get their pencil portrait drawn by an artist for Rs. 100

Adding appeal to the already loved event, there is a new addition this year in the form of a ‘food mela’. It is a delectable experience with 30 stalls, providing a delicious sampling of street food and traditional food varieties. In addition to the customary chat and pani puri, one can try out the organic food varieties made of kambu, saamai, varagu, kuduraivali, mulaikatna dhaniyam and more. Foodies can relish the healthy culinary experience by consuming dishes such as aval puttu, sabja juice, raagi ribbon pakoda, and thenthinai laddoo. “Rotary Club of Tiruchirapalli has been organising the book fair since 1986,” said R. Panchanadhan, past president, Rotary Club of Tiruchirapalli. Starting from the second day to the last day of the fair, there is a special address by a popular personality, every evening at 6.30 p.m. at the event premises.