GUWAHATI, Nov 12 - Breaking all sale records of previous years with an overall business of Rs 4 crore, the 21st edition of the North East Book Fair concluded successfully today. Highest sale of Assamese books and an overall positive atmosphere for encouraging book reading, marked all the 12 days of the book carnival.
It may be noted that last year the book fair had recorded a sale of Rs 2.5 crore, whereas the same in previous year (2017) was Rs 3.10 crore.
Kuladhar Saikia, the Director General of Police (DGP), who is also a distinguished writer himself, while speaking as the chief guest of the occasion, said that the success of book festivals is a reason for celebration for the entire society.
“Good books are like sweet smelling flowers, wherever they are present, they attract the book lovers spontaneously. However, merely buying books is not enough, reading them is all the more important,” he said asking parents and senior members of society to lead by example in making book reading a part of the culture. “There is no point blaming the youngsters, if the senior members of society don’t do enough to promote book reading in their families,” he stated.
Speaking as a distinguished guest at the valedictory function, Anand Prakash Tiwari, Mission Director, Assam Skill Development Mission stressed the need to form a feedback platform where the young generation can find an opportunity to give feedback on the content available for reading and can also tell the writers about their taste and choices.
“Digital technology can be utilised to create more book readers. If we digitise the contents of a book it can reach out to a greater number of people. If used properly, both print and digitised formats can complement each other in catering to variety of people and reaching out to a larger section of readers in the process,” he added.
Tiwari also underscored the need for a research and analysis wing for studying and analysing the contemporary trends.
President of the All Assam Publishers and Booksellers Association Imran Ahmed thanked the book lovers for giving a huge response to the fest. “It has been a people’s festival all along and we are very happy about its success,” he added.
During the concluding event, Bipin Chandra Thakuria, a book enthusiast from Narengi was felicitated for purchasing Assamese books worth more than Rs 10 thousand.
Dr Dayananda Pathak, member of the public advisory committee of the book fair said that books have not lost their relevance in the age of digitisation. Senior journalist Haidar Hussain, on the other hand said that the threat to the Assamese language and Assamese books was real. “A huge number of books are being published every year, but the number of memorable and productive books is small. In the age of social and mental commotion all around, we need good books to create a healthy and thriving society.
Dr Satyendra Narayan Goswami, Nabin Barua and Basanta Kumar Bhuyan among others, also spoke on the occasion.