With the polls due in two weeks, books on Modi are selling well, but not all bookstores are reporting a spike in books on politics.
The new Harper Collins title 100 Things To Know And Debate Before You Vote, whose subject is the BJP prime ministerial candidate, is the fastest moving in some stores.
As Vinay C Karlo, partner at Gangarams Book Bureau, describes it, “Modi is the flavour of the season.” The Church Street branch even has a rack dedicated to books on Modi. “Of these, Narendra Modi: A Political Biography by Andy Marino is most in demand,” he says. “It’s followed by Sudesh Verma’s Narendra Modi: The Gamechanger.”
And while he allows that it might be partly because of the elections, he feels that it might also indicate a rising interest in politics and political matters.
Krishna Gowda of Bookworm, M G Road, however, disagrees.
“Most other books on politics or elections, including Swaraj authored by Kejriwal, aren’t doing that great. We’re selling around one or two copies a week.”
Bookworm stocks three books on Modi -- Narendra Modi: The Man, The Times by Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay, The NAMO Story, A Political Life by Kingshuk Nag and Marino’s biography of the leader -- and sells about 15 to 10 in a week.”
But, individually, these titles too fall short of meeting the store’s bestseller mark, which is 25 books per week.
In his view, although writers might be capitalising on the elections to sell books about Modi, the leader is the sort of person who would inspire interest regardless of when the books are launched.
“People are curious to read them because there’s a lot of controversy around Modi,” he says. “So people want to know the facts.”
Visitors at Blossoms, according to owner Mayi Gowda, are as inclined to pick up Hindol Sengupta’s 100 Things... or Kejriwal’s book as Modi, Muslims and Media by Madhu Kishwar. “We get a lot of enquiries for other books as well,” he adds.
Venkatesh K V, owner of Nagasri Book House in Jayanagar, rubbishes the idea that people come looking for political books because the election season is here.
From his observations, most readers buy these books out of personal interest. “Especially politics. We also have a book by Nilekani on business -- Reimagining India. It came into the market in 2008, and those interested in business continue to purchase it; it has nothing to do with elections,” he tells City Express.
Two Kannada titles on Modi by Pratap Simha Yaru Tuliyada Hadi (The Untrodden Path) and Modi Muslim Virodhiye? (Is Modi Anti-Muslim?) too are doing well, he says. But his recommendation id 100 Things..., which he’s currently reading.