In this parishe, books disappeared faster than peanuts. The fifth edition of the Pustaka Parishe, organised by Basavanagudi-based Srushti Ventures, in association with the Kannada Book Authority and other government organisations, was bigger and better as promised, with as many as 10 lakh books beckoning thousands of people.

Both book lovers and those who were being introduced to the world of words were seen swarming the National College Grounds in Bangalore on Sunday. Some 50,000 book found new owners by afternoon, as the ritual of giving every visitor a free book took off.

From what started as an initiative to promote Kannada literature, the event has branched out to including books of various genres and languages including Hindi and English, literary and academic, spiritual and self-help.

Inaugurating the expo, Deputy Chief Minister R. Ashok equated the event to the Kannada Sahitya Sammelan. “It seems like there is a cultural pollution. Our acts are increasingly going against what our culture stands for. Pustaka Parishe reminds me of the sahitya sammelan, which proved that people are still attached to our culture and literature,” he said.

In districts soon

Encouraged by its success, Nagaraj Navunda of Srushti said there were plans to organise the event at the district level next year. “Donors have only increased each year, which is why the genres have expanded,” he added.

The Kannada Book Authority lent a considerably large number of books this year. “From our end, we are ready to support a district-level parishe,” said KBA chairperson Siddalingaiah.

Centenarian lexicographer G. Venkatasubbaiah was also present to see a collage, ‘G.V. Shataka’, in his tribute, being released.

The young and the old were seen helping themselves to the wide array of books. Satyamohan M.V. said events like the parishe make visitors go back with an inclination to read.

Textbooks for a steal

Students were seen seizing the opportunity and pick up textbooks. Umesh, a commerce student from Vijaya College, said students like him were looking for that one pricey textbook that they could save big bucks on. Dimple D., a Class 8 student, was picking out guides for her subjects.

The organisers had a difficult time telling the visitors that they could take only one book home, as most were under the impression that they could take as many as they wanted.

Apart from the book fair, the parishe this time featured various cultural programmes as well.

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