Beyond ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and Bhagavad Gita, ‘Bookchor’ stealing attention at World Book Fair

- February 18, 2024
| By : Patriot Bureau |

From whimsical answers to profound ones, the wall boasts a diverse array of responses, showcasing the impact of literature on people's lives

MULTIPLE LANGUAGES: Structure signifying the Bahubhaashi Bharat pavilion

At the ongoing New Delhi World Book Fair, visitors are encountering a colorful wall adorned with bright yellow post-it notes, each bearing a handwritten answer to a simple yet profound question: “Which book has changed your life?”

This imaginative display, located at a Bengaluru-based bookseller’s stall, has captured the attention of many. From whimsical answers to profound ones, the wall boasts a diverse array of responses, showcasing the impact of literature on people’s lives.

Some visitors have reminisced about their school days, crediting textbooks like the ’10th NCERT Maths’ for being life-changing. Others, in a lighter vein, have simply scribbled ‘Jai Shri Ram’, a phrase often associated with devotion and optimism.

At the inauguration ceremony, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan had called for a need to nurture a book-loving society, saying books alone will help us define our identity.

Bhim Singh Chauhan, an event manager at ‘Bookchor’, said the purpose of this wall is to engage the readers as well as know their thoughts to make better business decisions going forward.

“Readers have a memory, say, of which was the first book they read and what changes books have brought to their lives. They write the names of books and share their experiences. We also get an idea about which kind of books are in demand in which city,” he told PTI.

A noteworthy aspect of this endeavor is that it’s inclusive, with responses in both English and Hindi, and a few in Punjabi. This aligns well with the book fair’s overarching theme: ‘Bahubhashi Bharat – Multilingual India’.

Responses range from classical masterpieces such as ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and ‘Bhagavad Gita’ to contemporary works like ‘Harry Potter’ and ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. Autobiographies, motivational books, and rare literary gems also find their place on the wall.

Additionally, there’s a playful interaction with famous titles, with some visitors associating ‘Fight Club’ with personal growth and others cherishing childhood reads like ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’.

For the organizers and participants, this wall is more than a mere spectacle. It’s an opportunity to understand readers’ preferences, their connection with literature, and the role books play in shaping their lives. With over 1,000 publishers showcasing their works, the fair stands as a testament to the enduring love for books in India.

From a practical standpoint, the wall helps the bookseller gather valuable insights into market trends and popular demand. It’s also a testament to the communal power of literature, where visitors’ collective experiences and memories converge in a shared space.

As the fair draws to a close, one can’t help but reflect on the profound impact books have on society and individuals. They not only educate and entertain but also inspire, comfort, and connect us in a way few other things can. The wall of post-it notes, though temporary, serves as a lasting reminder of this enduring bond between people and books.

(with PTI inputs)