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Book festival gets under way

Staff Reporter

Some 290 stalls have been put up this time


If rules permit, government will sanction Rs. 50 lakhs to VBFS: Minister

People should not deviate from reading habit, says Collector


— PHOTO: CH. VIJAYA BHASKAR

Book lovers going through the titles at the 22nd Vijayawada Book Festival at Swaraj Maidan on Saturday.

VIJAYAWADA: The 22nd edition of Vijayawada Book Festival commenced here on Saturday with 290 stalls displaying titles in various languages participating in the 11-day event.

Inaugurating the festival, the speakers recollected its modest beginning and hoped for its future growth. The book festival had been maintaining the tradition of offering a rich collection of books to cater to the needs of every section of society. The rise in the number of stalls – from 84 two decades ago to 290 now – reflected the publishers' confidence in the event, they said.

A drawback

Literary critic and retired professor K.K. Ranganathacharyulu, in his keynote address, said that books that inspire and motivate intellectual thinking were less in Telugu as compared to English. Publishers should encourage direct books rather than translations, which might not convey depth and feelings of original author. “We find many books in English as lot of research is taking place there. The writers need to stay abreast of developments in their domain if original research is not possible,” he suggested.

Secondary Education Minister K. Parthasarathi said the publishers should support litterateurs to promote literature and literary activity. The government would explore the possibility of encouraging the litterateurs. The government would sanction Rs. 50 lakhs to the society, if rules permitted, to conduct book fairs, he said, adding that the issue of giving land for extension of the library being run by the society would be looked into.

VBFS plea

Earlier, VBFS secretary D. Ashok Kumar said that the Kerala government was sanctioning Rs. 50 lakhs to the societies for organising book festivals.

The society could spend only Rs. 3 lakhs on purchase of new books due to space constraint though Sudha Murty of Infosys Foundation donated Rs. 10 lakhs to the library. The society would extend its premises if the government provided additional land as assured a decade ago, he said.

District Collector Peeyush Kumar said that there was a general opinion that e-books would replace the conventional books by next decade. But, the revolution in electronic media had failed to diminish the charm of the print media. The people should not deviate from reading habit, as nothing else could be a substitute for it, he said.

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