Books: Lovers, business and more
For book lovers, the Nepal Education and Book Fair is one of the most awaited events of the year. Each year hundreds of people — both young and old — flock to Bhrikuti Mandap where various publishing houses and bookshops come together to display thousands of books on anything and everything. Be it children’s books or biographies of world-renowned personalities, there is something for everyone.
This year also the 12th Nepal Education and Book Fair which started from May 9 is attracting many people and most of the exhibitors are happy with the fact that the number of visitors is increasing every year. But does this also mean that they are also doing good business?
According to most of the exhibitors, this fair is more about exposure and publicity. Mohan Kumar Upadhayay from Nepal Sahitya Prakashan Kendra said, “There are no immediate profits for us but yes there is long term benefit.”
Raju Dutta, Branch Manager, Cambridge University Press, shared a similar view. “Participating in this fair is very useful for us as it helps in publicity and promotion of new books. With this fair more people have come to know about us.”
According to Suresh Shrestha from Ratna Pustak Bhandar, the publishing house has a policy of exhibiting their publications only so they take it as an opportunity to advertise new books.
However, some exhibitors feel that business is also good. Harish Dhyani from S Chand and Company Limited said they sell books worth Rs 5 lakhs and there is a high demand for curriculum related books and self-help books.
And of course the presence of so many educational institutes under the same roof is an added bonus. It helps to form new business ventures as many participants said that they get bulk orders from schools and other institutes.
Good business or not, for many people it is the whole festive environment and the charm of such gatherings which is the main attraction. “Such exhibitions have their own charm, from scholars to school students, you can see everyone here. Further it also creates an awareness about books and reading habit which is very good,” said Madhav L Maharjan from Mandala Book Point.
Bringing in authors so that the readers can get a chance to interact with them has also been a trend for some years. Anjan Bahadur Shrestha of Education Book House said that for him being able to facilitate this interaction is the highlight of this exhibition.