” Government. has not yet released the amount of books purchased over the past two years ”
Tamil Nadu government’s decision to postpone the Chennai Book Fair in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases dashed the hopes of publishers and book sellers, keen to make up for the losses they suffered over the past two years.
“But we cannot blame the government. Publishers are in dire straits because we have not been able to organize a book fair in the past two years. Now they have invested more money and are ready with more securities. But the pandemic has kept them from capitalizing on their efforts, ”said Olivannan, CEO of Emerald Publishers. He said 70% of those who would set up booths at the book fair were small publishers and it was the annual book fair, besides library orders, that supported their business.
Nagarajan of Bharathi Puthakalayam said the publishers were in a financial crisis as the government had yet to release the amount of books purchased from them in the past two years.
“Of course it was bought when the AIADMK was in power. But the responsibility lies with the state government. It will ease the burden on publishers if the government frees up the amount, ”he said.
Even though it is possible to hold the fair after the infection rate drops, publishers believe January is the ideal month for the event. It normally takes place over a period of eight days. The public holidays of the month associated with an ideal climate in Chennai always attract book lovers to Chennai. “We have decided to bring in a total of 120 titles, and 90 titles have been printed and are ready to be sold. 30 more are in the process of being printed. We also have to pay for the printers, ”Nagarajan said.
Mr Olivannan said the government should at least buy books from publishers who attend the book fair. Kannan Sundaram from Kalachuvadu said it was an unfortunate situation and no one could be blamed for it. “Even those who run the stalls can catch the virus because it spreads quickly. The government can certainly help because the organizers had already started working for the fair and spent the money, ”he said.