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Chennai Book Fair from tomorrow

CHENNAI JAN. 7. Chennai Book Fair, the city's annual feature, will be inaugurated on January 9 at Quaid-e-Milleth Government Arts College for Women.

Organised by Booksellers and Publishers' Association of South India (BAPASI), the exhibition will be open to public till January 19 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on weekends and holidays, the stalls will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. An entrance fee of Rs. 3 will be charged. However, the fee will be waived for children below 12 years.

Speaking to press persons, the BAPASI president, R. Muthukumaraswamy, said the fair, to be inaugurated by the Education Minister, S. Semmalai, would have 310 stalls. In addition, the fair would also have 15 mini stalls, some of them allotted to government departments.

Indian and foreign publications in several fields, including medicine, management, information technology, fiction, engineering, and children's literature, would be on display. The regular discount of 10 per cent would be maintained, Mr. Muthukumaraswamy added.

Over 200 publishers from all over the country, including Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala, would participate. This year's expo would have about 40 new participants. Provisions for shelter inside the venue and parking have been made. The visitors can also pay through credit cards.

Book release functions, lectures and other cultural events such as poetry sessions and debate will be held every evening.

Three lakh persons visited the book fair last year, and revenue of Rs 6 crores was earned, Mr. Muthukumaraswamy said. This year, awards would be presented to the best writers in Tamil and English. While Mini Krishnan has been adjudged the best writer in English, two Tamil

Writers--R.Venkataraman (Aarvi) and T. Jayakanthan--would receive the award.

Dr. Poovannan has been chosen to receive the award for the best writer in children's literature. For the best contribution to the book industry, G. Masilamani of Kalaignaan Publications and Munshiram Manorharlal, New Delhi, will be honoured. Awards for the best booksellers in Tamil and English will be presented to Sarvodaya Illakiya Pannai, Madurai and Landmark, Chennai, respectively. The publishers of New Century Book House, Universal Publications and Arumuga Navalar Trust will also be honoured.

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