CHENNAI: Bibliophiles in the city have something to cheer about this New Year. The 17-day Chennai Book Fair hosted by the Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India (Bapasi) for the year 2019 is all set to kick off from January 4 to 20.
The fair which is in its 42nd edition will be held at YMCA grounds in Nandanam. The book fair which is usually held for 10-13 days has been stretched by four more days for the first time, said members from the association. “During this time of the year, people usually leave the city for Pongal. Many told us that by the time they return, the book fair comes to an end. Due to their request, we have extended the duration of the fair by four days,” said S Vairavan, president of Bapasi.
Organisers are expecting close to 20 lakh people this time as the fair held in 2018 saw the highest ever footfall of 12 lakhs. Around 800 book stalls will be set up, a number higher than last year, as more number of publishers have come forward to launch new books. “Close to 500 publishers and sellers will display books of new authors in all regional languages. We have also got calls from publishers based in Delhi, Karnataka and Kerala who want to take part in the upcoming fair,” said Vairavan.
Ardent fans of the fair from neighbouring countries including Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia have got in touch with Bapasi’s organising committee to inquire about the event. “This is the first time that we have got calls from readers from other countries. The app we had launched last year to guide people about the fair has also contributed to its increasing popularity. We will also be having a press briefing on December 29 or January 2 to share more details about the inauguration,” he added.