New Delhi: Bibliophiles from all over the world gathered at the 27th edition of the New Delhi World Book Fair 2019 on Saturday at Pragati Maidan in the capital city. The 9-day book fair began on January 5 and will conclude on January 13. The book fair witnessed a gamut of genres catering to various sections of people.

The theme of this year’s fair is ‘Readers With Special Needs’. Therefore, the Theme Pavilion at Hall number 7 of the book fair focused on encouraging reading for people with sight or ear impairment, autism, anxiety problems, attention deficit or hyperactivity disorder. A display of books for the visually challenged readers was put up by the All India Confederation of the Blinds. Artwork and products made by differently-challenged people were available for sale at the fair. Sandeep Garg, orientation mobility instructor said, “This exhibit includes a range of editions like Braille, audio books, tactile books.”

“I generally read fiction, especially thrillers. My favourite author is Stephen King, “said Alka, an enthusiastic reader. She added, “I have come to all the Delhi World book fairs. This year books for visually challenged people are available here.”

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Speaking to India.com, the Marketing manager of leading publishing group Bloomsbury India Meenakshi Singh said, “Bloomsbury publishes a whole bunch of books from your regular fiction, non-fiction to political books, self –help and business books. We have young adult section, we have Harry Potter.”

In academics, Bloomsbury bookstore has a vast range of collection from design to fashion textile, film media, linguistics, literature, drama and performance studies, cookery, sports and children’s books.

Gandharv Sharma, the owner of Booksthread.com told, “We specialise in Children’s section. So most of the books you will find here in our stall are fiction.” He added, “We are distributor of Harper Collins and other major publishers like Scholastic and Rupa publications.” Booksthread.com offered 20 per cent discounts on certain books and offers including buy one, get two for free. Sharma added, “We also have an online platform of library available for sale. We will deliver the books at your doorstep.”

Pentagon Press LLP is a publisher of defence and security books. Rajan Arya, director of Pentagon press said, “Apart from defence and security, we cover international relations, politics and social science. That is our main niche area.” He added, “Our major focus is on the study on Pakistan, Afghanistan and China. We publish one book a week. So we are displaying around 500 titles.”

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The guest of honour at the Book fair was Sharjah. Representing the United Emirates’ Sharjah, a volunteer named Mariam said, “We are here to show you a glimpse of our culture and tradition in terms of our clothing, food and drinks.” A traditional Emirati music band was present at the fair displaying their singing and dancing to an Arabic music. The vision of Sharjah at Delhi’s fair is to promote the publishing industry in the Arab world to a wide section of people from across the world.

The employees of Harper Collins India said, “We have best-selling, award winning books like This is basically to bring out the best of our catalogue and make it available for the consumers who are coming to buy books. So we try and stock across genres.” Apart from the bulk 20 per cent and regular 10 per cent on purchase of books, Harper Collins encouraged readers to visit the stall, click a selfie. An employee told India.com, “If you are clicking a selfie in the stall, we are giving 5 per cent off. Plus schools are getting a flat 25 per cent discount.”

An NGO at the book fair was distributing Quran for free. “We have Islamic book for children and adults. We have Quran in about 20 Indian and International languages combined. Our objective is to distribute Quran for free so that people get to know what the contents of the Quran are.” said Sadiya Khan, member of CPS International. She added, “The publication of the books are by Goodward and our NGO is distributing them at this book fair.”

The daily timings of the book fair are from 11 AM to 8 PM. Tickets for the book fair is available at 50 select metro stations of Delhi. The cost of a ticket is Rs 10 for children and Rs 20 for adults.