The 2012 edition of the Erode Book Festival will begin at VOC Park grounds on August 3. Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission Chairman R. Nataraj will inaugurate the festival.
The festival would bring in over 130 publishers from across the country to exhibit thousands of books on a variety of subjects this year in 200 stalls.
A number of special events including awareness programmes would be organised as a part of the festival, organised by Makkal Sindhanai Peravai, a thinkers’ forum, and supported by a number of service-minded private organisations.
A marathon would be organised on the morning of the opening day of the fair (August 3) to spread awareness among people on the importance of reading books. Over 10,000 college students were expected to participate in the marathon, which would be flagged off at the CSI grounds by Collector V.K. Shanmugam, said T. Stalin Gunasekaran of the Peravai.
From the evening of August 4 to August 14, poets, writers, Tamil scholars and film directors will add colour to the festival. A young achiever from West Bengal Babar Ali would be felicitated on August 5. The festival organisers would honour ten renowned writers on August 8. Cine directors would participate in a special programme on August 12, he said.
Mr. Gunasekaran said the schemes introduced by the Peravai during the previous years to encourage people to read books would continue this year as well. Hundreds of piggy banks would be distributed to school students to save money to buy books in the fair. “Last year, more than 23,000 piggy banks were distributed to the students,” he said.
The Peravai had approached a number of private industries this year too and encouraged them to provide their labourers with gift coupons worth Rs. 100 each. These coupons could be exchanged at the fair to purchase books. The organisers had also designed a gift box with selected books worth Rs. 10,000. People could gift these boxes to the government schools and individuals of their choice.