Pustaka Parishe draws huge crowds to National College grounds

Those who think that digital books have replaced their physical counterparts would have been proven wrong had they visited the National College grounds in Basavanagudi, which was the venue for the sixth edition of the annual national book fair, Pustaka Parishe, organised by Srushti Ventures on Sunday.

Visitors were accompanied by their friends and families to pick a book they could carry home for free. People had come in as early as 9 a.m. on a Sunday and were busying digging in the shelves to find books even before the inauguration. Individuals of all age groups not only spent hours and had several books in their hands, but also had a tough time on short-listing on the final book that they could go home with.

Younger visitors were seen asking their seniors for advice while choosing the books. There was a wide variety of books in Kannada and English, which included old classics and contemporary works. But the fair was not restricted to literature alone. There was a wide variety of books related to medical, engineering, psychology, children’s literature and books for competitive exams. Books such as Shivaram Karanth’s Mookajjiya Kanasu and Engineering mathematics were placed next to each other attracting heterogeneous visitors.

Arpit Kale, a six-year-old was seen clutching a book Magic Pot. Visibly excited, he said, “I have never come to an exhibition that is so big. Although my parents spent hours here, I picked up the book as soon as I saw it as it had a lot of pictures.”

Another visitor, A.H. Vijaykumar, a lawyer, who spent over three hours at the fair said that the “big challenge” was to shortlist one book. “I feel like taking away all of them.”

Mukta R., a police constable, who was at the fair on duty said that the huge crowds at the fair had put them on their toes. However, she was not grumbling. “I will take back this book (A Quest for Nature’s Body) for my two-year-old daughter.She should be able to read when she grows up.”

M.N. Nagashree, vice-president of Srushti Ventures, said that the intention of the fair was to ensure that people are exposed to the wide variety of literature. “But we did not want people to go empty handed so we asked people to pick one book with them. However there is no buying and selling of books here.”

Vedesh Gangur, treasurer of Srushti Ventures said that close to 10 lakh books were collected at the Parishe and over 1.25 lakh people attended the fair on Sunday. Those interested to donate books can on 9945003479 or 9900204748.

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