The last two months gave new experiences to the EveningHour Team with the Book Fairs. EveningHour set up a stall in Hyderabad Book Fair. It was a good experience being in the middle of book readers and book lovers for a whole 11 days! There were approximately 245 stalls that sold new Telugu, English and Hindi books, as well as stores that sold only second hand books for about Rs.50. Additionally, there were few stalls for school aids, paper bags, TV9 and such. The prime time was 4 pm to 7:30 PM. So many variety of books, so many different people.
From EveningHour store, Ayn Rand books got the maximum movement. Never knew there were so many fans for Ayn Rand in Hyderabad. Teenage books like Harry Potter, Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer, Diary of Wimpy Kid were sought after very much. The second hand book stores were literally empty by the last day! With all the various programs conducted by the Hyderabad Fair People for children and adults, talks by leaders, the book fair was a huge hit! The Hyderabad book fair ended on 26th Dec.
The Vijayawada book fair started from 1st Jan. You could say the fair was split between Telugu book publishers and stores and academic publishers. Surprisingly, the Hyderabad Book Fair did not have much of an academic presence. We also heard that mostly 'Sahityam' books are in demand in Hyderabad while I could see a whole lot of presence of religious books in Vijayawada. Even the famous Gita Press did not have a stall in Hyderabad.
When we started out with EveningHour 14 months ago, we were told that every city has demand for different sort of books. While a book which could be easily available in Hyderabad might not be available at all in Bangalore and vice versa. This difference between the stalls in Hyderabad and Vijayawada re-iterated this theory.
Apart from the usual books in the Vijayawada book fair, two stalls impressed me very much. One is by Kottapalli team. They have created a new league of education through art, magazine and classes. They have setup libraries in different villages, different schools in the city. Very impressive work.
Next, I was truly impressed by an animated DVD of Venkateshwara Suprabatham with subtitles in 5 languages. Words cannot describe the quality of the DVD. They picturized appropriate to the chanting. Since I am a big fan of Venkateshwara Suprabatham to start with, I have been watching it over and over again ever since.
Overall, both the book fairs lend to a new and wonderful experience. The next time there is a fair in your city, be sure to visit it.