New Delhi, Aug 29 (IANS) Even as the Pragati Maidan venue seemed to be flooded due to the rains, the organisers of 24th Delhi Book Fair said the downpour had little impact on the daily footfall of “8,000-10,000”.
Naveen Gupta, Executive Council member of Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP), one of the organisers, told IANS on Wednesday that the visitors were unfazed by the rains.
“Even the drawing competition organised for school children saw at least 400 students participating energetically, right in the morning when it was pouring heavily,” he said.
“We are, in fact, hoping to cross our last year’s footfall of 80-90 thousand, and touch the one lakh mark.”
He said there are at least 8-10 thousand people visiting the book fair each day, with the number rising on the weekends.
An on-duty security guard said he noted little change in the number of visitors, due to its shuttle service and free entry.
“The free shuttle service ensures convenience, so people always have that option. It’s especially better for an older crowd too,” he said.
However, he agreed that the wet carpeting, rain-filled puddles and potholes are off-putting.
The fair’s fifth day had a literary event for children organised by the national academy of letters, the Sahitya Akademi, which has many new titles on its shelves this year.
“Our literature, poetry and translations are selling more in Hindi, as compared to English and other languages,” said a Sahitya Akademi spokesperson, adding rains did not discourage those buying or browsing.
The fair, coinciding with the 20th Stationery Fair, has leading stationers like Kores, Navneet and Uniball exhibiting and selling their products.
A Kores sales promotion executive said there was not a major dip in the people coming in.
Sharing her experience of the book fair, college student Richa said weekdays are usually less crowded than weekends, but it’s easier for college and school students to visit after study hours.
She said she had paid multiple visits to the fair just to browse through each section properly.
“Rains are not a major concern. In fact, rains and books are more tempting together,” she said.
The nine-day book fair has been organised by the India Trade Promotion Organization and Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP) and will continue till September 2.