This winter, book-lovers can look forward to browsing through books at breezy winter stalls by the Sabarmati Riverfront. The 7th edition of the Ahmedabad National Book Fair is scheduled to take place in November 2018 during the World Heritage Week. Perhaps owing to lesser footfall in the summer of last year, the Fair has been shifted from the month of May.
According to Mayor Gautam Shah’s public statement, the Heritage City of Ahmedabad has decided to shift the 7th edition of the Ahmedabad National Book Fair to November 2018, from its previously scheduled dates in May. The civic body now plans to celebrate literature during the World Heritage Week, which falls between November 19 to 25 every year.
Incidentally, major book fairs in India usually take place in winters. The Delhi Book Fair happens in December, the Dainik Bhaskar Book Fair in September and the Kochi International Book Festival in November. The Ahmedabad National Book Fair is likely to be organised on the Sabarmati Riverfront this time, unlike last year when the fair was shifted indoors to the Gujarat University Convention & Exhibition Centre owing to the immense heat of the summer. Besides the scorching heat, the month of May also witnesses maximum semester-end exams across schools and colleges, which is what resulted in low footfalls at the festival last year. As a result, the number of stalls had also been decreased to 170 last year, as compared to 2016’s range of 300 stalls.
According to sources, publishers were not informed about the change, so they were frantically getting in touch with the organisers till last week to book their stalls. Publishers are now expecting that stall rents will be less than that of last year’s rate of Rs 30,000, as the significant expenses incurred by the use of air conditioners will be cut down owing to the wintery breeze.
The Ahmedabad National Book Fair has been organised by the municipal authorities every year in the city since the past six years. It is attended by thousands of book lovers from across Gujarat. A literature fair like this gives thousands of citizens opportunities to buy books at throwaway prices, to meet with new and much-loved authors, and to make literature and reading an active part of their milieu. Currently, India is considered amongst the top ten hubs for the publishing of English books across the world, standing impressively at third rank after the USA and the UK.
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