Like the printing press did in the 15th century after Gutenberg’s printing press invention, technological blessings like the internet, smartboards, tablets and e-readers are once more reshaping not only the reading and learning habits but also the buying habits entirely today, in the 21st century.
In short the digital services are changing the ways we read and purchase even though it might be hard to break the habit of turning the pages of a real book.
This was evident considering the declining trend of buying books at the just concluded 27th edition of Imphal Book Fair 2018 at Thangmeiband athletic union ground in Imphal.
The 10-day fair is organized by State Central Library, Department of Art and Culture in collaboration with Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation of Kolkata.
Vedeshwor Sharma of Sangam Book Store at Paona Bazar who participated in the just concluded book fair said that the buying rate of books in such fair has been declined after the introduction of internet and subsequent online buying and smartphone.
“There are buyers but they are very specific,” he felt.
Otherwise books on competitive examination and some specific books or novels are the main demands of the buyers.
Echoing a similar sentiment, a book seller of Book Line, a Kolkata based publishing house felt that the changing trend of book reading in the region is disheartening. The reason for sudden decline in the sale of books during Imphal book fair this time according to him, is because of lack of less publicity, design of the stalls in the fair and of course because of technology advancement.
“If such trend continues there are chances of less participation of the publishing houses from outside the State in future,” he claimed.
So the book fair organizers and authorities concerned should come up with new innovative ideas to address the demands of the new way of reading by upgrading the old systems of organizing the fair with new and comprehensive ideas besides reviving the reading habits through other capacity buildings programs etc.
However the Chief Librarian E Latakishwar Singh of the State Central Library who is a key person in holding the book fair, when contacted claimed the number of publishing houses or book stores participated in the fair is higher than that of previous year.
“This time around 70 stalls including 28 from outside took part in the fair,” he said. The book fair concluded on Monday.