The Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI) will start working on a virtual book fair after this year’s physical event is over.
Due to the increase in COVID-19 cases in Chennai, BAPASI had to postpone its annual book fair which was scheduled to be held from 6th to 23rd January at YMCA Grounds, Nandanam.
“Last year, we missed the January date for the fair, but we are confident that the event will take place once the COVID-19 situation improves in Chennai, possibly in March,” he said. said SK Murugan, secretary of BAPASI.
This confidence comes from the fact that more than 80% of the event infrastructure is ready. “Work on the main pavilion, which spans 3 lakh square feet to accommodate 800 stalls, has been completed. Apart from that, the toilets, the stage for the events in which the guests will participate, are ready,” explains Murugan. After spending thousands on the event, the book fair will not be a disappointment, he said.
In 2021, the fair took place at the end of February.
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Murugan said its members met on January 21 to discuss the establishment of a permanent bookstore at the Connemara Public Library. “The state government has allocated 5,000 square feet for the library, which will serve as our space to start working on the virtual book fair,” Murugan said.
As not all of its members are digitally savvy, BAPASI plans to orient them to new technological trends. To begin with, book covers and a few opening pages will be scanned and uploaded, he said. This will provide buyers with a choice of books. “We have some 150 member publishers and an online platform, we will give them more visibility on what they have in stock,” Murugan said. He indicated that much of the work related to setting up the virtual store has been completed. Software functionality is currently being tested.