Visit to the book fair
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.
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.