This promises to be nine days of heady fun for the book lover. Spandan Foundation will be organising the first ever Mumbai Book Fair 2013 from April 13 to 21 at the Hiranandani Foundation School ground in Powai.
The Mumbai Book Fair, which hopes to be an annual do will feature 35 eminent publishers displaying over 300,000 books encompassing a wide range of literary tastes. The nine-day long event promises to offer a range of titles that will interest readers from all walks of life, and across age groups.
Many writers, theatre personalities, lyricists, and folk artists are scheduled to grace the occasion. There are various panel discussions on literature and education. The fair is expected to host names like Amish Tripathi, Ashwin Sanghi, Prahlad Kakkar and Rashmi Bansal. Speaking about how this giant idea was realised, Shantanu Bhattacharya, Spandan Foundation’s spokesperson, says, “Ours is a socio-cultural organisation endeavoured towards social equality with a commitment towards charitable causes. We realised that while the city has its Prithvi and Kala Ghoda festivals, there was nothing exclusively for the book lover.” He reveals how Spandan was surprised to discover that the mumbaibookfair URL was available, when they decided to float the idea.
“Kolkata and Delhi have book fairs, why not Mumbai? There is a perception elsewhere that beyond Bollywood Mumbai is merely a cultural wasteland. We wanted to change this,” reasons Bhattacharya. Spandan’s other concern was that today’s children were not reading enough, distracted by the wonders of the digital world. “We want to reintroduce kids to the reading habit; so, entry for school and college students is free.”
Besides, there are performances scheduled every evening that include dance forms like Bihu and Chou, solo instrumental performances and jugalbandis as well as open mike acts. Indian Ocean, one of India’s most popular bands will also perform the venue. Other activities include from inter-college, inter-school and corporate quizzes, painting competitions, art and craft and robotics workshops for kids. There will also be an open mic area where local and amateur performers are encouraged to display their
Apart from bookstalls, visitors can buy products on sale by several NGOs, visit artistic and photography exhibitions, as well as art and craft displays. To combat summer, an air-conditioned 94,000 sq ft hangar has been created where 15,000 sq ft of space has been dedicated for display and sale of books. There’s also a food court and ice cream stalls for refreshments.