Chennai Book Fair to have a virtual avatar

Tamil Nadu, Chennai, 28/02/2021 : Members of the BookSellers’ and Publishers’ Association of South India (BAPASI), which is organising,Visitors browsing through the books on the 44th edition of the annual Chennai Book Fair at YMCA grounds in Nandanam in Chennai on Sunday. Photo : Jothi Ramalingam .B / The Hindu

The Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI) will be starting work on a virtual book fair once this year’s physical event concludes.

Due to the surge in COVID-19 cases in Chennai, BAPASI had to postpone its annual book fair that was scheduled to be held from January 6 to 23 at YMCA Grounds, Nandanam.

“Last like year, we have missed the January date for the fair but we are confident that the event will take place once the COVID-19 situation improves in Chennai, may be in March,” said SK Murugan, secretary, BAPASI.

This confidence comes from the fact that more than 80% of the infrastructure for the event is ready. “Work on the main pavilion, which is spread across 3 lakh sq ft to accommodate 800 stalls, is over. This apart, the washrooms, stage for events where the guests will be participating are ready,” says Murugan. Having spent lakhs on the event, the book fair will not be a disappointment, he said.

In 2021, the fair was conducted in late February.

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Murugan said its members met on January 21 to discuss the establishment of a permanent book shop at the Connemara Public Library. “The State government has allotted 5,000 sqft at the library, which will serve as a space for us to start working on the virtual book fair,” said Murugan.

As all its members are not digitally-savvy, BAPASI plans to orient them on new trends in technology. To start with, covers of the books and a few opening pages will be scanned and uploaded, he said. This will offer buyers a choice of books. “We have some 150 publishers as members and an the online platform, we will give them more exposure of what they have in stock,” said Murugan. He said that a major part of the work related to establishment of the virtual shop is over. The features of the software are being tested.

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Printable version | May 12, 2022 11:57:00 am |