Another world book fair gone by…9 days of sheer madness and exhaustion. The footfalls? Let’s be honest, not as many as the last world book fair, after all the fair coincided with school examinations and the no-longer-dreaded-but-still-important Boards. Nonetheless, still enough to make us run out of all the popular titles on day 1 itself.
The most irritating questions that we were asked: You are a library. Do you lend books? No, we lend clothes, shoes and ice candies!
So, you are a library. DO you have all the books?
Well, we would love to say yes, but do you have any idea how many books exist in print? We are still looking for exact numbers,but trust us, there is no library in the world, not even the Library of Congress that can claim this. So, no we do not have all the books, but we do have a fairly good collection, one that we are rapidly expanding and we would love your inputs on that one.
The big realization!!! The term, Online Library can be extremely misleading. Many assumed we are dealing in e-books. So for the record, only our catalogue and ordering process is online. We deal in physical books, the ones you can curl up with
A book fair is an amazing place. Sitting in offices, rushing orders, taking calls or recommending books, you never get to truely understand the Indian reader, the way you do at a fair. In fact, much as I shy away from generalizations, it is awfully tempting to do so. But that will make a post in itself, or perhaps two. So more on it in the coming days. Right now, let’s back to the task at hand.
What is India (or at least Delhi) Reading?
When it comes to fiction, the Indian authors are a definite hit and we don’t mean the Indian versions of the penny dreadfuls or MBs selling at Rs 50 or Rs 100. We are referring to White Tiger, The Immortals of Meluha, Chanakya’s Chant and Revolution 2020. The four top-selling Indian fiction titles at our stall, followed closely by Ravinder Singh’s Can Love Happen Twice, Preeti Shenoy’s Tea for Two and a Piece of Cake and the evergreen Gitanjali.
Top-selling Indian Authors? Khushwant Singh, Chetan Bhagat, Amitav Ghosh in that order. In the international segment, apart from the latest Jeffrey Archer, The Sins of the Father, which released on march 3 and Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance, it was mostly the all time best sellers that did well. The Alchemist, Fountainhead, Gone with the Wind, Wuthering Heights.
In the Non Fiction segment, the top grossers were Rashmi Bansal (all 3 titles, but particularly Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish), The Argumentative Indian, Who Moved My Cheese?, Freakonomics, Wings of Fire, and surprisingly, another relatively unknown new release, Beautiful Country: Stories from Another India.
Finally, the most looked at (mind you, not the most bought) items: Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson (the price is just too formidable though everyone wanted to look at the book), the Paulo Coelho Box set and the Robin Sharma Box set.
So, what did you buy at the World Book Fair, 2012? Do tell us. And meanwhile, do look out for our next post on The Great Personality Test: The World Book Fair