With Kannada literature scoring the privilege of having won eight Jnanpeeta awards which no other language in the country coming anywhere near it excepting maybe Hindi, it is not surprising that Bangalore today is the growing hub for book lovers, litterateurs, publishers and printers.
Aside this, there is a flourishing fake book industry in the city resulting in great losses to the publishers and the authors.
Over the years, the city with a literacy rate of 90 per cent, despite swamped by its IT culture, has held its head high in encouraging the traditional reading habits of all sections of the society be it through hard or soft copies.
Although some known book shops and vendors have downed their shutters as the number of book buyers has seen a decreasing trend but at the same time, there has been an increasing trend towards accessing E-books.
Youngsters today prefer to read fiction or non-fiction on their tablets rather than the once preferred hardbound books or paperbacks.
Compared to this, even now a section of the reading public love to hunt for books either in second hand shops, on pavements, purchase online through Flipkart or throng the many book fairs that are being held regularly in the city.
If one visits the ongoing Book Fair at the Palace grounds displaying more than a million books, you will be amazed to see the crowds thronging every stall from morning till evening.
For the book publishers and printers, it is manna from heaven to see people flipping through new releases with such enthusiasm and buying books of all kinds ranging from fiction, text books to best sellers.
With new publishing houses being set up in the city followed by more and more of new releases, the trend of literary festivals has also caught up and how can Bangalore be laidback when it comes to its own namma sahitya festival.
The beginning of this month witnessed the birth of the city’s own festival but tinged with a local flavour.
At the first edition of the Bangalore Literature Festival which was held on the lines of Jaipur, bookworms and bibilophiles thronged the Jayamahal Palace, the venue of the festival in large numbers to meet the authors in person who had come from every place - local, national and international.
Can you believe it, on the first day itself, there was a crowd of more than 3000 people demonstrating their love for the written word.
Bringing the finest of the Kannada literary world under a single umbrella like Nissar Ahmed, U R Anantmurthy, Chandrashekar Kambhar, it also had Chetan Bhagat, Shashi Deshpande, Gulzar, Pavan Varma, Shobhaa De and a host of other authors bowling the audience with their pearls of wisdom.
Offering a mix of Kannada and other vernacular languages as well as global literature, the three-day-event attracted the young and old in equal numbers demonstrating the fact that people still hanker for the written word and enjoy interactive sessions with the writers be it from the city or elsewhere.