Chennai Book Fair

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Chennai Book Fair
Book fair-Tamil Nadu-35th-Chennai-january-2012-PATH 1- part 6.JPG
Book Fair Entrance
StatusActive
GenreFair
Begins16 February 2022 (2022-02-16)
Ends6 March 2022 (2022-03-06)
FrequencyAnnually
VenueYMCA Grounds, Nandanam
Location(s)Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Years active45
Most recent9 March 2021 (2021-03-09)
Organised byBooksellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI)
Websitebapasi.com

Chennai Book Fair or Madras Book Fair is an annual book fair organized in Chennai, India by the Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI). The fair typically lasts for about two weeks during the New Year-Pongal season, that is between the last week of December and the third week of January.[1] It is the second largest book fair in the country after the Kolkata Book Fair.[2] All major Tamil and English publishing houses participate in this fair. It is considered as an important event in the Chennai cultural calendar along with the Chennai music season.

The 44th edition (2021) of the fair had 578 stalls by major publishing companies in India and was held for 14 days.[3]

History[edit]

The First Madras Book Fair was organized in Madras between 14 and 24 December 1977, by The Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI), an association of major publishing companies of Tamil Nadu.[4][5][6] The first Madras Book Fair had 22 stalls and was held at the Madrasa-i-Azam school due to the initiative of K. V. Mathew of B. I. Publications.[6] He is also credited with planning and organisation of the next five editions of the fair.[6] Mathew has also organized an annual book fair for students.[6] The Student Book Fair, however, hasn't been as successful as the Chennai Book Fair.[6]

The book fairs gradually rose in popularity. At the 12th Madras Book Fair held between 22 December 1989, and 1 January 1990, Tamil translations of WHO publications were put on sale.[7] The success of the Chennai Book Fair prompted BAPASI to start similar book fairs at Udagamandalam, Thiruvananthapuram, Pondicherry and Tiruchirapalli.

The 24th Chennai Book Fair experienced a spurt in the number of Tamil language publishers. Of the 180 publication houses who participated in the book fair, 80 were Tamil publication houses, a remarkable increase since the 23rd fair in which there was only one stall devoted to Tamil publications.[8] The book fair celebrated its silver jubilee in 2002 coinciding with the 50th anniversary celebrations of BAPASI. The fair was held for 15 days instead of the usual 11-day affair. In 2007, due to traffic congestion and the need for more space for the stalls,[9] the venue for the annual book fair was changed from Quaid-e-Milleth Women's College to St. George' School in Kilpauk.[10] In the 32nd edition held in 2009, the number of visitors crossed the one-million mark. In 2013, due to construction work on the Chennai Metro, the venue of the book fair was shifted to the YMCA grounds in Nandanam.

In 2016, following the 2015 South Indian floods, for the first time, the book fair was rescheduled to be held in May. Instead, an alternate low-key Pongal Book Fair was held between 13 and 24 January for book lovers and tourists.

The early editions were held in the last weeks of December and ended in the first week of January in order to coincide with the Christmas-New Year holidays. However, in the late nineties, the fair was moved to mid-January to coincide with the Pongal festive season.

Recent editions[edit]

35th Chennai Book Fair, 2012

The 32nd Chennai Book Fair was inaugurated at St George's Anglo-Indian School, Poonamallee High Road, Chennai, by former President of India Abdul Kalam on 8 January 2009.[5][11] and lasted ten days.[12] The 2009 edition had over 600 stalls[13] and was attended by over one million people,[12] amongst whom were Chennai historian S. Muthiah, businessman Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti and Gnani Sankaran.[13] Second-hand pavement shops outside the fair also did a good business.[14] Book publishers made a cumulative sale of approximately 70 million.[12]

The 14-day fair was held at St. George's Anglo Indian School on Poonamallee High Road. The fair included 646 stalls, spread over 1.5 lakh sq.ft. Over 1 million titles were on sale. Book publishers from New Delhi, Agra, Hyderabad, Bangalore and various parts of Tamil Nadu participated in the fair.

The 36th Chennai Book Fair was held between 11 and 23 January 2013, at YMCA Physical Education College Ground, Nandanam due to the construction of CMRL (Chennai Metro Rail) at E.V.R. Periyar Salai. It had 747 stalls in a 180,000-square-foot area, with 450 participants and 1 million titles.[15][16]

The 39th edition of Chennai Book Fair was not conducted in January 2016 due to the flood happened in Dec 2015. The planned venue (YMCA Grounds, Nandanam) was still inundated during the last weeks of December and the organisers did not have enough time to replan the venue to keep up with the schedule. Many book sellers and distributors got affected as their valuable stocks were damaged in the floods.[17] The local publishers suffered a loss of approximately 250 million. The Book Fair was postponed initially to April 2016 and then rescheduled to 1–13 June 2016.[18] A book fair was however held between 13 and 24 January 2016 at YMCA Royapettah organised by Tamil Nadu Book Sales and Promotions Association with 225 stalls.[19]

The 45th edition of the book fair, which was scheduled to begin from 6 January 2022, was postponed due to surge in COVID-19 cases.[20]

Venue[edit]

Sand sculpture of Valluvar at the Chennai Book Fair 2020

The first four editions of the book fair were held in the Madrasa-i-Azam school. In 1981, the book fair moved to the YMCA grounds in Royapettah, Chennai. The 1982 edition was organized at the erstwhile Woodlands Drive-In restaurant. The book fair was subsequently moved to the Quaid-e-Milleth Government Arts College for Women in the late 1980s. The Quaid-e-Milleth Government Arts College for Women remained the venue of the book fair till 2007, when the venue was shifted to St. George Anglo-Indian High Secondary School on the Poonamallee High Road due to space and parking constraints.

Features[edit]

The Chennai Book Fair is considered to be one of the biggest events in the Chennai cultural calendar along with the Chennai music season.[21] In addition to book stalls, there are food and refreshment stalls to serve the needs of hungry visitors. Regular debates, contests and speeches are held at the venue. In recent times, movie clippings of films of international renown are filmed at the venue of the fair. Annual awards to the best writer and the best publisher are given at the fair.[22]

The last book fair in 2022 was the 45th edition of Chennai book fair organised by Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI) at the Nandanam YMCA ground in the city. The sales went up over 12 crores in the fair. The State government's "Illam Thedi Kalvi" initiative, a scientific exhibition, a Keezhadi photo gallery, and a display of vintage ceramic artifacts were all represented during this year's fair. Another highlight of the event was the sculptures of notable leaders. There were sculptures of former CM M Karunanidhi, well-known Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar, Buddha, former President APJ Abdul Kalam, Dravidian icon "Periyar" EV Ramasamy, and other luminaries available for purchase.

Year Edition Venue Area Number of stalls Participants Visitors Days held Revenue Ref.
1976 1 Madrasa-I-Azam school 22
2001 24 Quaid-e-Milleth Women's College 180 11 days
2002 25 Quaid-e-Milleth Women's College 15 days
2003 26 Quaid-e-Milleth Women's College 272 300,000 9–19 January (11 days) 60 million
2004 27 Quaid-e-Milleth Women's College 310 200 540,000 9–19 January (11 days)
2005 28 Quaid-e-Milleth Women's College 700,000 7–17 January (11 days)

60 million

2006 29 Quaid-e-Milleth Women's College 375 6–16 January (11 days)
2007 30 St. George's School, Kilpauk 474 600,000
2008 31 St. George's School, Kilpauk 700,000
2009 32 St. George's School, Kilpauk Over 600 Over 1,000,000 8–17 January (10 days) 70 million
2010 33 St. George's School, Kilpauk
2011 34 St. George's School, Kilpauk 150,000 sq ft 646
2012 35 St. George's School, Kilpauk 100,000 sq ft 687 5–17 January (13 days)
2013 36 YMCA Physical Education College Ground, Nandanam 180,000 sq ft 746 450 900,000 11–23 January (13 days) 120 million [23]
2014 37 YMCA Physical Education College Ground, Nandanam 200,000 sq ft 777 10–22 January (13 days)[24]
2015 38 YMCA Physical Education College Ground, Nandanam 200,000 sq ft 700 9–21 January (13 days)
2016 39 Island Grounds, The Island, Chennai 700 1–13 June (13 days)
2017 40 St. George's School, Chennai, Kilpauk 700 6–19 January (13 days)
2018 41 St. George's School, Chennai, Kilpauk 708 428 10–22 January (13 days) [25]
2019 42 YMCA Physical Education College Ground, Nandanam 804 400 4-20 January (17 days) [26]
2020 43 YMCA Physical Education College Ground, Nandanam 9-21 January (13 days)
2021 44 YMCA Physical Education College Ground, Nandanam 153,600 sq ft 578 376 (including 25 sponsors) 800,000 24 February–9 March (14 days) 120 million [27][3]
2022 45 YMCA Physical Education College Ground, Nandanam 800 16 February–6 March (19 days) [28]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Kamath, Rina (2000). Chennai. Orient Blackswan. p. 105. ISBN 8125013784.
  2. ^ "Chennai Book Fair from 9 Jan 2015". News Today. Archived from the original on 29 December 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Despite pandemic, the 44th Chennai Book Fair witnessed good turnout". The Hindu. 10 March 2021. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 5 January 2022.
  4. ^ "25th Chennai Book Fair 2002". World Health Organization. Archived from the original on 2 July 2007. Retrieved 12 January 2009.
  5. ^ a b "Films, fun and contests for kids at annual book fair". The Times of India. 7 January 2009. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012.
  6. ^ a b c d e Muthiah, S. (8 November 2004). "60 years midst books". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Archived from the original on 14 January 2005.
  7. ^ "Health Literature and Literary Services" (PDF). WHO repository. World Health Organization. p. 5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 June 2011.
  8. ^ "80 Tamil publishers participate in Chennai Book Fair". The Hindu. 7 January 2001. Archived from the original on 25 January 2013.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  9. ^ "Chennai Book Fair has new venue". The Hindu. 4 January 2007. Archived from the original on 5 January 2007.
  10. ^ Malarvizhi, J. (12 December 2006). "Venue of annual book fair changed". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 4 January 2007.
  11. ^ "Kalam to inaugurate Chennai Book Fair on Thursday". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 6 January 2009. Archived from the original on 12 August 2009.
  12. ^ a b c Sujatha, R.; K. Laskhmi (19 January 2009). "Fair crowds, well! books still need more readers city pulse". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Archived from the original on 23 January 2009.
  13. ^ a b "600 stalls present a sea of books to pick and cherish". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 9 January 2009. Archived from the original on 22 January 2009.
  14. ^ "Nothing stalls pavement sales". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 20 January 2009. Archived from the original on 22 January 2009.
  15. ^ BAPASI release Archived 31 December 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "Book fair expected to draw 10 lakh visitors". The Hindu. Chennai. 10 January 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2013.
  17. ^ "Flood damage leaves publishers at a loss ahead of book fair". 17 December 2015.
  18. ^ "Floods push Chennai Book Fair to April". The Hindu. 21 December 2015.
  19. ^ Hamid, Zubeda (8 January 2016). "Pongal Book Fair will have over 200 stalls". The Hindu. Retrieved 6 June 2018.
  20. ^ "With book fair postponed, publishers seek govt. support". The Hindu. Special Correspondent. 3 January 2022. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 11 January 2022.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  21. ^ Krishnamachari, Suganthy (17 January 2002). "Volumes of wisdom and fun too". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Archived from the original on 30 June 2003.
  22. ^ "Book extravaganza kicks off". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 8 January 2005. Archived from the original on 4 February 2005.
  23. ^ "Book fair ends after stupendous sales". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 24 January 2013.
  24. ^ "Chennai book fair from Jan. 10 to have 777 stalls". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 9 January 2014.
  25. ^ "Chennai Book Fair from Jan. 10". Chennai, India. 6 January 2018.
  26. ^ "Chennai Book Fair from January 4". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 30 December 2018.
  27. ^ "Chennai book fair to be held from Feb 24". The New Indian Express. Chennai: Express Publications. 31 January 2021. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  28. ^ "Chennai book fair from February 16". The Hindu. Special Correspondent. 4 February 2022. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 4 February 2022.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: others (link)

Website[edit]