The 36th Agartala Book fair got off to a flying start at Agartala on Monday afternoon with hundreds of people thronging the fair complex in Children Park ground.
Apart from booksellers from Tripura, publication houses from Kolkata, Assam, Delhi, and few other states are participating in the fair.
Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy inaugurated the fair by lighting the lamp in presence of a host of dignitaries including Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb who is also the Information and Cultural Affairs Minister, Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath and eminent writer of West Bengal Tiloktoma Majumder.
In his speech as chief guest, the Chief Minister focused on the importance of book fair as a major cultural event.
“Books are the tools which shall grow confidence among the youths and give the power to achieve success in life,” he said.
In the inauguration programme, the rich culture of various tribal sections and the non-tribals was demonstrated that mesmerized the gathering.
Focused on youth and children, the annual festival is organized by the Information and Cultural Affairs Department of Tripura in collaboration the state publishers.
Anurabh Dhar, a photography student who came to the fair in search of books of his choice expressed that throughout the year, like many others, he also wait for the book fair as it is a golden opportunity to get books of his choice as hundreds of book sellers from the entire country gather here and showcase the books which are generally not available in the book stalls.
Kakali Debnath, another visitor said that it is nice that along with the book fair a colourful programme is going on and since it is the first day she along with her daughter is checking the stock that has arrived and shall buy later.
Writers and publishers are also very happy about the fair doing good business.
Adhir Biswas, owner of a renowned publishing house ‘Gangchil’ from Kolkata said that he along with his wife Anima Biswas is participating for the fourth time in the Agartala Book fair.
Around 40 publishing houses from Kolkata are taking part in the book fair.
Biswas said that his love for Tripura is proved from the fact that his publication this year has published three books of Tripura writers.
The objective of this fair is to generate reading habits among the youths, encourage writers and publishers as hundreds of books are released on the occasion.
In spite of the new generation attracted towards internet and e-book, every year there is an increase in selling of books during the fair.
Sishir Kumar Singha, a book lover and writer from West Bengal said, “Book sshall always have their relevance though e-books are in the trend. Especially when we are going for the research oriented works if we just depend on digital books it shall not be a complete work. We cannot get the satisfaction from an e-book that we get reading a novel or a poem from a traditional book and that is why lakhs of book gets published every year. You will find every publisher publish so many book every year.”
Agartala Book Fair started in the year 1981 and is the only state government sponsored fair in the country.