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Delhi Book Fair – From cheap to cheapest

Statesman News Service |

Walk into the Delhi Book Fair underway here and small coloured placards offering ‘Three books for hundred’ and ‘One book for fifty’ makes sure the visitor does not leave empty-handed.

The nine-day long fair, which kicked off with the theme of inculcating reading habits is selling books at throwaway prices making the right noise for all right reasons among youngsters.

"The mighty billboards of big publishing houses makes no sense to me. These Rs.100, Rs.50 lucrative offer that makes me happy," says Shreya, a student in her 20s.

Stalls have been witnessing crowds of all age groups.

"I can’t switch my loyalty. Books at Daryaganj book market smells different. But a hard bound copy of ‘Escape from Red China’ in less than 100 rupees. Now this is a steal," says Seema, a regular visitor to Delhi book fair.

Be it the ‘Master of Suspense’ Alfred Hitchcock thrillers or English novelist Jane Austen classics , everyone gets to take away something of their favourites without pinching their pockets.

"I got my favourite Jodi Picoult books. Please do not ask the price. I won’t reveal because that does not add to the immense respect I have for my favourite author, " a seemingly delighted Sonal Sharma said.

With many publishers and distributors selling books at cheaper prices under the banner of stock clearance, it seems like a win-win situation for both the seller and the customer.

"People nowadays want books at cheap cost. Even a reasonable price won’t do. We sell news books also. But it is the remaindered books which earns us ready money, " says R K Shankar from Sabharwal books, who is selling classics at the rate of 100 and 50 per novel.

Other than the monetary benefits, books being sold at such low prices gives the buyer an option to experiment with his reading habits. Also, for those who are not avid readers it offers them an opportunity to develop the habit.

"I am not an avid reader. But these offers are inviting enough for me to get my hands at books. I can anyday afford this process is what I believe," points out Abhay Dubey, who was on the lookout for books by popular Chetan Bhagat.

However, some visitors said it was irritating to come across the same books multiple times.

"Everything is nice. But coming across the same title after digging into what is virtually a mountain of books you feel annoyed," says Priya who was unable to find her favourite Sylvia Nasar’s ‘Grand Pursuit’.

The 22nd edition of Delhi book fair is set to conclude on September 4.