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Visit to the book fair

Updated on January 16, 2013

I visited the Chennai Annual Book Fair last weekend with my family. While walking to the entrance of the fair, I saw a man selling bubble blowers and became nostalgic. Memories from childhood flooded in my mind.

I was introduced to the magic world of books by my mother at a very early age and this made me an avid reader. She made me a member in a very good local library, My dad played a major role in guiding me to choose the right authors and books. After finishing the book, I used to discuss the story and characters with my parents. I still remember the countless evenings after school I spent reading books and listening to songs, to the extent that I can recount the story along with the song I listened!

I, thankfully, belong to the blessed generation which was not addicted to television. Thus, reading books was the source of entertainment and time pass. Book Fair, an annual fair, happens in Chennai every January and my dad made it a point to take me and my brother. It used to be extremely exciting to visit the book fair. The cotton candy and popcorn stalls, hundreds of book stalls selling so many books, thousands of people visiting the place, authors and other celebrities signing books for fans, caricature painting stall, random small shops selling anonymous items, all these made the book fair appear as a fairy land to me!

I still have a key-chain with my name etched on a piece of rice grain intact with the happiness and pride that I had for buying it. Again, I belong to the generation of children who understood the value of money, thus preserving the key-chain till now. Then, of course, going to each book stall and selecting books to buy was the main part. Dad will play a major role in selecting the book. After buying, I will hold my dad in one hand and the books in the other, and walk with my head high in pride! After coming back home, I will not sleep unless I read at least 2 pages in the new book, then sleep off peacefully waiting to be taken to the magical world read in the books.

Children these days are unfortunately hooked to gadgets and the habit of reading books is slowly fading. They are engrossed in the different visual media that it is hard for them to understand the pleasures of imagining and visualizing the characters and setting by reading it. After buying books this year in the book fair, realized that children should be taken to the book fair for creating awareness and kindle the interest to read books. They surely are missing something.

Writer Balakumaran visiting the stalls in the fair
Writer Balakumaran visiting the stalls in the fair

Unique Experience in this book fair

After going around half the stalls in the fair, we decided to take a snack break. While sitting and eating in the food tent, I got the opportunity to meet writer Balakumaran, whose Udaiyar is one of my favorite books. I introduced myself to him and expressed my happiness in meeting him. I had bought his latest book - Gangai Konda Chozhan and got it autographed by him. It was indeed a pleasure to talk to him.


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    • C.V.Rajan profile image

      Disillusioned 5 years ago from Kerala, India

      This brought me the memory of my meeting my favorite writer La.Sa. Ramamritham in one of the book fairs. I met one of his sons too and he became instantly friendly with me! He shared how La.Sa.Ra's daughter would make fun of her father's writings! Joyous memories!

    • profile image

      Lavanya Vinodh 5 years ago

      Very true Deepika..reading book physically can never ever be equalled.

      And these days parents are more interested to send their childrens to field trips which is irrelevant to them...teachers and parents shud encourage reading habit instead of getting devoted to TV and Gadgets...

      I am not an avid reader but i always love reading a book with music on.

      Cheers Deepi :)

    • Deepika Arun profile image

      Deepika Arun 5 years ago from Chennai, India

      The feel of reading a book physically can never be equaled by Kindle!

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      Varun Varadarajan 5 years ago

      Luckily for you, the digitization didn't engulf you. Probably 3 years can make all the difference. I was born with a computer in the house and even though, there was a time when I read books vivaciously, technology over took. Maybe it was a choice.

      Even, now I might prefer Facebook or Games over a book. Even though, I would like to have the book experience again, the hold of computer is too strong, not regrettably though. I hope devices like kindle at least does its namesake in making children of today pick up and read at least the ebooks.