Training course in book publishing organised

Speakers at the inauguration of a training course in book publishing, being jointly organised by the National Book Trust, India, and the Vijayawada Book Festival Society, on Monday expressed concern over decline in book reading habit despite the fact that the publishing industry was booming in the country. They feared that the television would cast a spell on the publishing industry, though it helped the publishing industry in marching forward.

They stressed the need for promoting book reading clubs to encourage reading habits. Reading was not only a great hobby but also an activity that builds intelligence, comprehension, imagination, and good written, verbal and grammatical skills, they said.

The Andhra Pradesh Academy of Rural Development (APARD) Commissioner Phani Kumar said sweeping technological changes were taking place in the publishing industry, with e-books invading the market. It may not happen in the immediate future but e-books would replace paper books. The industry and the readers needed to gear up for imminent developments, he suggested.

Sridhar Balan, a literary critic and a senior consultant with Ratna Sagar Private Ltd., said e-books might be hitting the markets but paper books were still the cheapest form of storing information. “Reading a book is a sensory perception. It is engagement of mind, and a lot of imagination takes place while reading a book,” he observed, suggesting, “Celebrate books, celebrate reading.”

New format

NBT Deputy Director Sumit Bhattacharjee said reading among young adults was not as such on the wane, but the delivery mechanism had changed. Communication with words was thriving, but on a new format.

Career and business opportunities in publishing industry would continue to be there as all the departments like editorial, marketing, finance and the like would be required even if e-books replaced paper books.

Columnist Andavilli Satyanarayana presided over the meeting. VBFS president D. Ashok Kumar also spoke.

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