Book Fair 2007 – last three days

The Chennai Book Fair 2007 has a new address this year, St. George’s Anglo Indian School opposite to Pachaiyappa’s College in Poonamalle High Road. This location is far bigger and spacious than the Quaid E Millet College where the fair was held in the previous years.

The Book fair is organised by BAPASI – Book Sellers and Publishers Association of South India – and this is the 30th year of the fair.

Almost 90 percent of the stalls have Tamil Books. The fair is a boon to Tamil Book readers since it is very difficult to get Tamil Books in Chennai Book stores. New Book lands is one store that has Tamil books, and sell tamil books on line, but in general it is much easier to buy a Murakami novel than a novel by any contemporary Tamil writer.

This year’s fair has attracted huge crowds as usual. My observation is that Children’s books and Self Help books sell a lot. So do books by / on various God Men and anti God Men (read communist leaders). Every year some new God man is in vogue and the earlier ones lose sheen and sales.

After Kalki’s works were nationalised, his best sellers have been printed by various publishers in varying sizes and quantity. I found the editions published by Vanathi Pathippagam and Paavai Pathippagam of better quality than the others.

Vikatan Publishers have adapted a successful strategy of releasing all the serials in the magazine as books. Their stall is always crowded. Kizhakku Pathippagam run by bloggers has carved a niche for itself by focussing on non fiction and anthologies of famous Tamil writers. Their stall too attracts good crowd.

Kalachuvadu Pathippagam founded by Sundara Ramasamy has its almost religious following among the writer’s fans. Since he passed away last year, the adoration by his fans (including me) has increased even more. I bought a collection of his essays and poems this year.

Uyirmmai Pathippagam focusses on republishing its star author, Sujatha. It does carry other titles too, including the works of its founder Manushya Puthiran, but their focus on Sujatha takes precedence over others and is a little unnerving.

Tamizh Ini pathippagam has books by contemporary Tamil Writers – Nanjil Nadan, Konangi, Tamizhavan and many more. If you are into serious Tamil modern literature, you should pay a visit here.

Then there are the old timers – focussing on one writer who is long dead, and looking wistfully at the new publishers. Ainthinai Pathippagam – Thi Janakiraman, Tamil Puthagalayam – Akilan fall in this category.

A cursory visit to all the stalls – about 410 – takes you the better part of three hours. Do pay a visit, it is time well spent. The fair is on till 21st January 2007.

There is a ambitiously named Food court too, but the toilet facilities are almost non existent.

3 Comments so far

  1. siv (unregistered) on January 18th, 2007 @ 9:26 am

    This is year it is worsely organized with regards to stalls, because you don’t know whether you have visited all the stalls, where you can enter and get off in just a straight line without any barrigades in between and hence missing out majority of the stalls.

  2. Navneeth (unregistered) on January 18th, 2007 @ 8:33 pm

    Could someone tell me the best way to get this place by Bus/MRTS from somewhere around R.K.Salai?


  3. manikandan (unregistered) on January 19th, 2007 @ 5:40 pm

    I met a guy called damodaran showing a really spectacular software on the stock markets. It is called Trendrider i suppose. Looking up google for trendrider in Inda takes me to Anyone has any more info on this?
    Thanks in advance,

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