Covid scare impacts response to Ariyalur book fair; organisers upset

The deserted stalls at the book fair in Ariyalur on Wednesday
The deserted stalls at the book fair in Ariyalur on Wednesday
The deserted stalls at the book fair in Ariyalur on Wednesday

TIRUCHY: The absence of proper publicity and the surge in the number of COVID cases has hit the book fair in Ariyalur, which started with much pomp hard. With lack of visitors, the sale of books had dropped leaving the publishers and organisers in dejection.

The first book fair in 2015 was a super hit in Ariyalur and books worth Rs 2 crore were sold. Since then, the book fair continued for five years and in 2020 and 2021 the fair was not held due to COVID. As the restrictions were withdrawn the book fair resumed in Ariyalur on June 24 at Ariyalur Government Higher Secondary School premises, but public response was too poor..

There were as many as 83 stalls and over 50 publishing houses in the fair. However, it failed to attract the public for the past five days. “Less than 1000 people had paid a visit to the book fair for the past five days. It should have gone beyond 25,000 but the poor head count worries us,” one of the publishers said.

“On day 1, we sold books at the MRP, but only a few people bought books and now we have given up to 50 per cent discount but still, we see poor patronage,” one of the sales persons said on condition of anonymity. If the condition prevails further, we will opt not to participate in the exhibition in Ariyalur next year, said another salesperson.

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