SIBF 2015

The Sharjah Book Fair 2015, held in November every year, was an event I always looked forward to. Back then I lived in Sharjah and could enjoy browsing the book stalls for hours and could attend author interactive sessions for several days. But now that am based in Dubai driving through the crazy traffic to Sharjah is the major drawback. After last year’s bitter experience of waiting in a packed room for hours and finally being unable to meet Dan Brown and Manju Warrier, I decided to take it easy this year.

I managed to go for a day. But there were no interesting author sessions on that day. Add to that the huge crowd, elbowing along at the halls, made it impossible to spend time leafing through the books with ease and at leisure. Unfortunately while the fair has grown leaps and bounds, the exhibition space remains the same. Hope the event organisers along with the aggressive promotions will also look into increasing the space for the exhibition to accommodate the burgeoning number of book lovers.

Here is a shot from the DC books, an Indian publishing house, stall. There were piles and piles of all kinds of books laid out on tables. You gotta be lucky to get standing space and manage to pull out books that you would want to buy, then brave a long queue at the cash counter to finally go home with your prized possessions.

sibf

 

 

Authors, Chefs and Book lovers mingle at Sharjah Book Fair

In its 31st year Sharjah International Book Fair has become better and bigger. Strong marketing and an increased presence of the event through social media has made the fair reach the masses. The crowds are larger than before complementing the increase in the number of books on display. There are book releases, book signing, reading sessions, live cookery shows and a host of children’s activities.

Egypt and Pakistan are the focus countries this year. In the India section DC Books continues to be the most active by being in the forefront organising author meets. Authors Ruskin Bond and Chetan Bhagat are the most popular and get prominent displays at the Indian book stalls.

Day 2 saw novelist Pankaj Mishra reading from his latest book From the Ruins of Empire. Some interesting quotes that came out of the discussion were — “There is no substitute for personal experience and travel.” On why Tagore is largely relegated to Bengal and is not remembered in India today “Writers are destined to be forgotten.”

Food lovers got a taste of well-known Malayali chef Naushad’s lip-smacking recipes at the live cooking demo. His first recipe book was released at the event by Malayalam movie stars Mukesh, Reema Kallingal, director Ranjith and Aashiq Abu.

 

Today Man Booker prize winner Arundhati Roy talks about God of Small Things at 8 :30 pm.

Be there for like the poster here says ‘Reading brings us unknown friends’