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World Book Fair kicks off, people throng to avoid Sunday rush   

IANS | New Delhi |

Braving the winter chill, the national capital’s book lovers turned up in good numbers for the annual World Book Fair which began here on Saturday.

Held at Pragati Maidan, this time there are more than 1,500 stalls with 800 publishers participating. Though the early hours saw limited visitors, a huge rush thronged the venue later in the day.

Nidhi Mehrotra, a resident of East Delhi, dropped in at the book fair early with her 9-year-old son Manan. “We wanted to avoid the Sunday rush tomorrow, so decided to come today. Also, we have always been coming on the first day itself because more variety of books are available than the last few days,” Mehtorta told IANS.

Sanjay Kumar who also came in along with his family from west Delhi also voiced similar thoughts. He said: “it becomes very difficult to find books of choice on Sunday. Last year, I couldn’t even enter some of the stalls as they were so crowded. So, I wanted to get the best out of the lot today itself.”

Like every year, stalls offering children’s book appeared to be a favourite among visitors again this year. The Children’s Pavilion saw variety of short story books, syllabus books, cartoons and colour books as well as stationary products drawing a good crowd.

“We have been coming every year. Kids love the ambiance at book fair. Physically connecting to books is very important and especially for children its very important. And what better than book fair to get them associate with books physically,” Ashwini Narwal, a resident of Ghaziabad stated who came along with his son and daughter.

Even for publishers, this edition seemed to be a better start compared to last year as there is no shadow of demonitisation.

“Last year, the demonitisation did had an impact but luckily no such issue this time. Rather, there are more people on the first day than we had expected. We are hopeful that it will be a good show this edition,” Debashish Nandy of Niyogi Books said.

Being held at Pragati Maidan and co-organised by the National Book Trust (NBT) and ITPO, the Theme Pavilion highlights various environment-related issues like climate change, global warming, water pollution and other relevant matters this edition.

The book fair will continue till January 14.