New Delhi: The annual Delhi Book Fair is taking a futuristic leap this year, by putting e-books and e-book publishing at its centrestage, while playing a rendezvous for all stakeholders in the reading sphere.
Pragati Maidan is set to turn into a book lovers' paradise for the first nine days of September, and the organisers of the 18th edition of the event have made sure they also provide a meeting point between real and virtual pages.
Beginning 1 September, the book fair will play host to 300 publishers -- both regional and international. China is sending a delegation of 20 publishers while six publishers from Pakistan will also set shop.
While books will as usual be at the centre of the event, a number of e-publishers will attract attention this year by displaying and offering the new age technology of electronic books.
Overdrive, the British distributor of digital e-books will be participating, so will W3C India, and Digital Media Initiative.
"I convinced the COE of Overdrive to participate in this event by telling him that this is perhaps a rare place where you will get 300 publishers whose books are mostly not converted into e-books. He readily agreed," said Shakti Malik, the director of the Delhi Book Fair.
While one company will organise a series of seminars on training people on e-publishing and conversion of books, another will showcase conversion of magazines and newspapers into e-form.
As bibliophiles turn out in large numbers, the organisers have arranged special shuttle services to ferry people especially senior citizens to different hall destinations.
Organised since 1995 by the India Trade Promotion Organisation in collaboration with the Federation of Indian Publishers, the fair is a vital platform for lesser-known authors and publishers who get their due share along with the giants under the same roof.
More than 600 stalls will be up for display this time.
"Bookshops do not have enough space to display Indian books and those of lesser known authors. They only display books that give then a greater margin of profit. This is a platform, which gives the much-needed space under the sun to even the underdogs," said Malik.