Coimbatore Times Aug 14, 2017

The annual literary festival re-kindled the city’s love for literature and arts.
I entered the third edition of the Coimbatore Book Festival with my eyes basking on the colorful placards and posters displaying attractive offers like ‘PICK ANY FOR 99’, ‘50% OFF’ and so on. The CODISSIA Trade Fair Complex, reputed for hosting various trade fairs and industrial events seemed to have been temporarily revamped into an ardent reader’s paradise for a duration of ten days from 21st to 30th of July, 2017. The Book Fest was jointly organized by the Coimbatore District Small Scale Industries Association (CODISSIA) and Booksellers and Publishers Association of India (BAPASI); PSG group of institutions was a principal sponsor for the event. The book festival had a massive count of more than 259 stalls comprising of 172 publishers and 80 book distributors.

Excited school students at the CBF

Books over a variety of genres including fiction, fantasy, philosophy, thriller and horror, spanning almost four languages were on display. CBF also attracted the aspiring youth out there by showcasing a huge repository of academic, general knowledge and competitive examination books. Popular Franchise novels such as Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and The Hunger Games were also available and a few of them were offered at a good discount aiming at the ever-so-crazy franchises’ disciples. Few other stalls went a step ahead by means of taking on the digital competition by showcasing illustrated and colorful versions of classics such as Pride and Prejudice and David Copperfield. The sale of books on sporting sensations or ‘G.O.A.T’ like Lionel Messi, Roger Federer, Usain Bolt, Saina Nehwal, Virat Kohli was yet another highlight of the fest.
The 3rd Edition of the CBF proved to be a marvel not only for the fans of English books but also for the readers of regional languages, especially Tamil. Books of famous foreign and Indian authors had been translated to Tamil and other regional languages, making them accessible to all the diverse readers in attendance.
The love for comics!

In addition to books, few stalls had a collection of virtual teaching aids, software tutorial CD’s and augmented multimedia flashcards. A certain stall named ‘Sandhu Scientific Educational Aids’ was crammed with eager and brisk looking children. They had a variety of Educational equipments such as telescopes, binoculars and unbreakable torches.
A treasure trove for all age groups

Apart from the exhibition-cum-sale, the fest educated and promoted the importance of literary arts in multiple facets. Mr.C.Velumani, President-CODISSIA BOOK FEST ignited the lights to ‘Arivukkeni’, the literary movement of CODISSIA at the Launchpad. Arivukkeni, started in a pursuance to inculcate literary interest among the people, was made entertaining and interactive by conducting various competitions such as storytelling, debates, dialogue delivery, poem writing and script writing throughout the week. This provided a platform for students of different schools and colleges to showcase their talents in various creative fields. The literary movement also reached out to about 200 educational institutions to promote the art of reading among students.
Yet another important part of the fest was the “Felicitation ceremony”; it added pride and presence to the fest by honoring many renowned faces including ‘Kalaimaamani’ Mr.Balakumaran for his literary contributions and The South India Saiva Siddhantha Works Publishing Society Tirunelveli Ltd ,‘Kazhagam’ for marking their century-long service to the Tamil literature.
While the books at the fest hall silently spoke a thousand words on the inside, it was an entirely different story on the outside. The stage in the makeshift tent outside CODISSIA B Hall was occupied by students from PSG College of Technology on 29th of July. The student club of PSG College of Technology – BOOK READERS’ CLUB, in association with the TAMIL MANDRAM did put up quite a show. Our college students participated in the Book Review contest and Mr. Paramasivan (B.E. MECHANICAL, 2016-2019) won the second prize.  Mr. Naveen Kumar (B.E EEE, 2015-2018) enticed the all-age audience with a graceful Bharatanatyam performance. Subsequently, The Book Readers’ Club, enacted a skit by imitating the famous reality show ‘Bigg Boss’. It conveyed a stark message that, in spite of the variant emotions which assail people, books still had the inherent latent power to unite people from different walks of life together. This skit was followed by another play by the members of the Tamil Mandram, depicting the patriotism shown by the military soldiers towards our country.
The BRC and TM at the CBF…

All in all, the third edition of the Coimbatore Book Fair proved to be a platform for a plethora of arts. As I left the book fair, my mind recollected a particular Thomas Merton’s famous quote that seems to sum up the thought pattern of fans inside the exhibit:
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time”.

DHANA SRINITHI.S (B.E. Computer Science, 2016-2020) is an avid reader and has a never ending obsession over the Harry Potter series. She likes writing romantic fiction and is a foodie.
Photographs by DHIVAKAR (B.E Robotics and Automation, 2016-2020)
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