Chennai Book Fair
|Chennai Book Fair|
The Book Fair Entrance
|Inaugurated||14 December 1977|
|Attendance||600,000 in 2007|
Chennai Book Fair or Madras Book Fair is an annual book fair organized in the 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. The fair is usually held between the last week of December and the third week of January. 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 Chennai Book Fair is the second largest book fair in the country. All major Tamil and English publishing houses participate in this fair. The 2018 fair had over 708 stalls representing most major publishing companies in India and was held for 13 days, drawing over 1.1 million visitors.
The Chennai Book Fair is considered to an important event in the Chennai cultural calendar along with the Chennai music season.
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. 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. He is also credited with planning and organisation of the next five editions of the fair. Mr. Mathew has also organized an annual book fair for students. The Student Book Fair, however, hasn't been as successful as the Chennai Book Fair.
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. 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. 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, the venue for the annual book fair was changed from Quaid-e-Milleth Women's College to St. George' School in Kilpauk. 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 Y. M. C. A. grounds in Nandanam.
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.
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. and lasted ten days. The 2009 edition had over 600 stalls and was attended by over one million people, amongst whom were Chennai historian S. Muthiah, businessman Nalli Kuppuswami Chetti and Gnani. Second-hand pavement shops outside the fair also did a good business. Book publishers made a cumulative sale of approximately ₹ 70 million.
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.
The 39th edition of Chennai Book Fair was not conducted in January 2016 due to the flood happened in Dec 2015. The planned venue (Y.M.C.A, 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. The local publishers suffered a loss of approximately Rs. 25 crore. The Book Fair was postponed initially to April 2016 and then rescheduled to 1–13 June 2016. A book fair was however held between 13–24 January 2016 at Y.M.C.A Royapettah organised by Tamil Nadu Book Sales and Promotions Association with 225 stalls.
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 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.
The Chennai Book Fair is considered to be one of the biggest events in the Chennai cultural calendar along with the Chennai music season. 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.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January 2013)
|Year||Edition||Venue||Area||Number of stalls||Participants||Visitors||Days held||Revenue|
|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|
|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|
|2014||37||YMCA Physical Education College Ground, Nandanam||200,000 sq ft||777||10–22 January (13 days)|
|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)|||
|2019||42||YMCA Physical Education College Ground, Nandanam||804||400||4-20 January (17 days)|||
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