Even as the stalls in Delhi book fair attract visitors with discounts and clearance sales, and the fair itself with free entry, readers’ reactions are a mixed bag.
Many found the fair underdelivering in terms of size and variety in books on offer, with quite a few voicing praises.
Riya, a student who came looking for English novels and non-fiction books, pointed at the dominance of Indian literature.
“I’ve begun to find some titles I was looking for in this segment, but not all. The previous segments were full of mostly Hindi, spiritual literature,” she told IANS.
Even as some readers complain of lack of a significant variety and even stalls not accepting card payments, many say it was not a complete dampener.
Bhargavi, a Class 10 student, who says she visits the fair every year, said although she is familiar with most books on sale, it is still a good exploring opportunity.
“My parents are readers, so I have been a voracious reader since Class 1. What I see here is something I’ve mostly seen everywhere. So, it’s quite general in that way,” she said.
“But, organising such a big thing is not a child’s play. If you go to a bookshop, you won’t explore even half as much as one does here.”
Her mother, Renuka, who is a lawyer and an avid reader, said she found a number of latest titles here.
“It’s not a complete package, but not a complete dampener also,” she said.
Another parent told IANS that she came looking for children’s books, and found engaging content along with interactive learning tools.
As the scaled-down Delhi book fair does hold interest, most visitors suggest at least one visit to test waters for themselves.