The New Delhi Book Fair pretty much epitomized the current book reading scenario in our country. The stalls were ample but not enough to quench the thirst of my inner bookworm. The place was stunning , easily commutable and also had a food court ( my bookworm might be happy with books but my stomach definitely has other needs) . So what was it that made the book fair seem less lucrative as well as less occupied (in the second most populous country in the world the term less occupied should seem out of place ) ?
The last time I went to the book fair was almost 10 years back and I realized that things had changed. The book stalls , stationary stalls, crowds and somewhere our interest in books has also decreased. Some may say that eBooks might be throwing paperbacks out of business but we need to realize a simple fact. Only those people who actually read books will make the effort of downloading kindle or an app. Maybe I belong to the old school who is abhorred by the idea that one days I might have to look at a piece of paper as a museum exhibit.
Book reading as a hobby is fast disappearing. So much so that once while talking to a friend I remarked ‘ Blistering barnacles ‘ and the question I was asked was ” is it a new song?” . Lets say Captain Haddock is not going to be happy about that. Books give a different sense of dimension. It might be humanly impossible to travel all places in the world but books do make it possible. Moreover it is habit that needs to be inculcated it can’t be just learnt overnight .
Having said that there are still a lot of book reading souls out there but we need to walk out and support such fairs. Only when we decide to visit such places or some old time book shops only then can they survive Also watching movie adaptations does not count as supporting books. (Seriously can anything ever compete the smell of old crinkled paper).So go out there read a book and open your own chamber of secrets.Or find fault in our stars. Maybe find famous five in your childhood memories. Learning how to kill a mockingbird might also help. I have filled enough book hints so you better get the message ( And if you did not please do not google but go and explore a library.)