Take a look around you, right from self-driving cars to an app for almost anything under the sun, we live in the age of convenience. Kindle is an example of such convenience. You can read at will, without carrying heavy books around you or making sure you have a source of light to read under. Owning a kindle is an unspoken sign of being a serious reader without damaging the environment. And yet, people throng in large number to well-known book fairs, like the Delhi World Book Fair.
Book Fairs are a celebration:
Reading on a kindle is an indulgence, an act of private joy. However, being part of a book fair is a celebration of reading and writers. The presence of authors, readers and activities ensures that all the participants immerse themselves in literature. It helps to get in touch with the “why” of reading, whereas having a kindle is more about the “what” of reading. You think about the genres and authors you read, and explore others as well.
A sense of community:
Meeting others who love to write and read is going to give birth to many conversations. These conversations can spark debates and even lead to some enlightenment. Regardless of the end result, these conversations are the reason that writers write and readers read. It is the pathway to share the opinions we form and tell the stories we live and weave. The reading population are generally considered to be introverts. This is one event where they can go out there and claim the social space.
A personal touch:
You cannot get a kindle book signed by your favourite author. Neither can you see the small note left on a second hand book, meant as a gift for someone important. Real books and the stories associated with them are all about the way we interact with them. An anecdote here and a note there, these are what make the books living, breathing creatures.
You may listen to an author talk passionately about their book and decide to buy it in a book fair. Or you would find a floating conversation around you so interesting, that you take more interest in an author or a book. Book fairs are about moving beyond your current tastes, getting into a world of exploration. They are all about inviting ideas and letting them shake you up.
So yes, many people who read kindles can be found at book fairs. Conversely, book fairs now have stalls advertising kindles and they sell well too. It’s not a question of one or the other. Rather, it’s like watching movies at home and then watching a premier of the movie with the actors and directors. While the former is more accessible, the latter is what excites us and makes us feel that we are living and enjoying.
The World Book Fair in New Delhi is a nine-day festival celebrating books and writing. The theme for this year is writing by women. If you’ve visited or plan to visit, let us know in the comments below!
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