Tiruchi book fair draws school and college students in droves

Exhibition brings 160 stalls under one roof to encourage the reading habit

Published - November 29, 2023 06:57 pm IST

Students at the book exhibition in Tiruchi on Wednesday.

Students at the book exhibition in Tiruchi on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: M. MOORTHY

Large groups of students have been flocking to the book fair organised by the district administration at St. Joseph’s Higher Secondary School to encourage the reading habit among the city’s youth.

The book expo, inaugurated on November 24, is scheduled to be held until December 4.

This year, the fair is hosting 160 stalls, besides added attractions such as science exhibitions, an oratory platform and food court on the sidelines. Several schools are organising student visits to the fair to encourage them to take to reading books.

A booth to collect reading material for inmates of Tiruchi’s Central Jail by the authorities received over 700 books donated by members of the public. “We are hoping to get more books by the weekend on a variety of topics that would have a positive effect on the lives and behaviour of 1,800 inmates,” an official manning the stall told The Hindu.

The publicity over Tamil movies Ponniyin Selvan 1 and 2 based on the epic novel by ‘Kalki’ Krishnamurthy that helped revive sales of historical fiction last year is missing in 2023, said some booksellers. “There’s no real trend to look out for, though sales of classics are doing well,” a publisher from Gandhigramam, Karur said.

Others felt that patronage was lower this year. Though the student footfall has been high, the actual paying customers could be staying away due to lack of variety in reading options. “The same types of books, on education, self-improvement, religion and history are seen in nearly every stall. The English sections are not updated. Book fairs should cater to a wide range of topics and multilingual readership,” said a visitor.

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