Aimed at presenting one of the widest range of book titles, the maiden edition of the National Book Trust (NBT) Tiruchi book fair will host 137 publishers across 175 stalls. Organised in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Tiruchi, the fair will feature authors from all 22 Indian languages and English.

“While we have held around 200 book fairs across the country, this is our maiden edition in Tiruchi and we decided to join hands with the Rotary Club of Tiruchi, which has been conducting book fairs for the past 25 years,” said M.A. Sikandar, Director, NBT, India. Adding that NBT was testing the waters at Tiruchi this year, Mr. Sikandar expressed hope that the NBT book fair will become an annual feature in the city.

To be held at the St. John’s Vestry School grounds, the book fair will be inaugurated by Collector Jayashree Muralidharan on October 5 and is slated to go on till October 14. “With promotion of book reading being our main focus, we have also organised a range of literary events such as poetry reading sessions, book discussions and talks by authors among others,” said Mr. Sikandar. Sahitya Akademi awardee Su. Venkatesan will be a guest of honour at the inauguration ceremony.

Falling under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, NBT offers a variety of subsidies and schemes aimed at promoting reading, especially amongst youngsters, according to Mr. Sikandar. “We offer up to 75 per cent financial assistance to any private player (excluding educational institutions) wanting to hold a book fair across India; we offer a subsidised two-week course on book publishing for youngsters looking to enter the industry; and in a couple of months we will be opening an NBT Book Promotion Centre at Chennai,” he said. The centre, he added, will offer free space to hold book releases and other literary events, besides having an in-house book shop and a mobile book fair van that will cover rural areas in the state.

Open between 11 am and 8 pm everyday, the fair will feature both fiction and non-fiction titles from vernacular and English authors and all books are available at a 10 per cent discount. Entry to the fair is free of cost.