The number of shops that sell English books in Vijayawada and Guntur is relatively few.

Even in these few shops, the sale of non-fiction books and textbooks is more compared to fiction. There is a marginal increase in the purchase of fiction during vacations. But, a new type of fiction seems to have changed things, with customers making enquiries on a daily basis for new titles by Indian authors. Ashok Book Centre owner D.Ashok Kumar says “mythology mystery” books written by authors like Amish Tripathi, Ashok Banker and Ashwin Sanghi have captured the imagination of local readers. Gynaecologist T. Madhavi has no time for fiction. She prefers spiritual books like Bhagwatham and Bhagawat Gita. But, when someone suggested that she read ‘The Immortals of Mehula’, the first of the Shiva trilogy written by Amish Tripathi, she found it “unputdownable”. By then the second book ‘The Secrets of the Nagas’ was already out, and she immediately bought and read it. Within a short while, news was out that the third book was on its way.

“I could not wait to buy the book sold in bookshops here, so I reserved it in advance on the Internet and got it delivered to me by courier,” Dr Madhavi said.

All fans of Dan Brown’s ‘Da Vinci Code’ seems to have shifted to new Indian writers. The serial killer in Ashwin Sanghi’s ‘The Krishna Key’ is in no way inferior to the serial killers portrayed in a Thomas Harris book, says S. Suresh Kumar an avid reader.

Big publishers like Penguin are targeting young readers with a series of books under categories such as Metro and Young Adult. Books written by romance writer Ravinder Singh are selling like hot cakes, Mr. Ashok Kumar said. Singh was such a big hit that a big publishing house literally kidnapped him, he said.

The pricing has also been done in such a way that it fits the pocket of students and youth. Three of Singh’s books are being sold as “box set” for a lower rate. This is highly innovative for the publishing industry that has been very tawdry till now in India, Mr. Ashok Kumar said.

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