World Book fair ends, Russia returns to pavilion a day early

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New Delhi, Feb 10 (UNI) The 18th New Delhi Book Fair drew to an end today amid thin attendance and Guest of Honour Country, Russia, wrapping their pavilion a day before.

NBT director Nuzhat Hassan, however, said the book fair was a huge success as'' the festival of books had roughly 12 lakh visitors and recorded highest sales till date.'' The sales of the National Book Trust (NBT) recorded a 70 per cent jump this time compared to the previous fair, she told reporters.

When asked about why Russia had left without the organisers knowing about it, Ms Hassan feigned ignorance but ruled out any misunderstanding between the organisers and the Russian delegation.

''The kind of programme and events that were organised could not have taken place without a joint effort,'' she said.

The publishing houses were not happy with the business outcome of the fair. ''The reading habit has changed dramatically since the previous fair and we were expecting a better response from the visitors but it was somewhat mild,'' Shobhit Arya of Wisdom Tree said.

Ms Hasan, however, stated that the number of publishers doing business between 10 and 50 lakh saw a phenomenal rise. Publishers and distributors were also able to get export orders and register new foreign clients.

NBT editor Kumar Vikram said hundreds of Rights negotiations as well as exchanges took place during the fair. ''Moreover, Indian publishers have not been talking about buying rights but also pushed their own titles vigorously,'' he added.

Talking about the Gandhi pavilion, he said the interest shown by publishers, translators and editors, besides the general readers, in the Gandhi pavilion solved the twin purpose of promoting Gandhi literature as well as the interest of publishers.

UNI SYU RP DB1841

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