Dec 27, 2008 - Uncategorized    17 Comments

Go bonkers with books

Last night, I went to the 4th Karachi International Book Fair. I visit the festival every year not only because there are publishers who come from different parts of the world but also because local publishers and book sellers dish out their wares at discounted prices. Most offer 15% to 40 % discount on books, so if you are a book lover and buyer like moi, now is the good time to stock up.

A fair number of people turned up to browse through the goodies on offer, but this year, the numbers of stalls were a lot less than the previous couple of years. A total of 29 Indian publishers were supposed to come but only two managed to arrive. I couldn’t find out if the government of Pakistan denied them visa or they decided not to come for the fear of an impending war. The stall of Kashmir university was vacant.

For some strange reason, the event was sponsored by Zong (Why would a book fair be sponsored by a cell phone company, but then everything is being sponsored by cell phone companies these days) and their presence was everywhere.

Zong everywhere.

Religious books have a pretty huge market.

Indian stall stayed vacant the first day

Khana-e-Farhang (Iranian cultural centre) selling Persian best sellers.

Clip to Evernote


  • Did you find Aravind Adiga’s book (paperback) there?

  • Did you HAVE to put Tahir-ul-Qadri up there? Now, I’ve got nausea…THANK YOU!

  • yes, its all over the place.

    Books like that are easily available everywhere. They are the bestsellers. The advantage of such festivals is that you get to discover new writers that you dont normally get to read or hear about, unless you check out NYT and Guardian’s book reviews every week.

  • ummm saadia,

    I was just making a point; religious text is all over the place.

  • Sounds great, I miss Karachi. Any idea about whether they’re coming to Lahore?

  • awww that reminds me of the old days when i used 2 liv in PU n we used 2hav an annual book fair there… tho tbh i was always more interested in the lil ‘computer’ stall in da middle where different companies showed off tech!

  • Tazeen, aapne Fair me kya liya??

    I recently got myself Norman Mailer’s “The Castle in The Forest” and Zadie Smith’s “White Teeth” last week….just started the latter….awesome so far!

  • Fazal, lahore has a Lahori version of this bookfair too. i think its usually around march and happens in fortress stadium. keep your eye on newspapers, its generally well advertised in advanced!

    tazeen, lahore is FOGGED out. i can not see my street lights!

  • abdul sami, a fellow PU-ite eh? Holla!

  • look at me, socializing all over your blog taz. off i go now.

    p.s: did you catch zardari’s speech today? oh my word..

  • @sidrah… lol i didn study there… i lived there… my dad used to teach there !!! lol

  • Looks like the Bangalore Book Fair. However computer books and second hand books from USA and Canada are the most popular. And yes, there are lot of religious book publishers of all faiths. But I’m not so sure if they sell much. They create a lot of noise though.

  • Ah! Reminds me of the Calcutta Book fair except that the one in Calcutta is held in an open maidan with the aroma of pakodas drifitng by as you browse through the books.

    I miss Calcutta. Sigh…

  • Here in Peshawar, book fairs are not organized anymore! 🙁
    Only Jamiat-e-tuleba-e-Islam organizes one every year and you can only find text books or some works of Moulana Moddoodi there.

  • Aah! Love book fairs.
    Not a big fan of Tahir ul-Qadri but I do tend to robotically gravitate towards a good Islamic book, which I appreciate over ‘arty-farty’ literature. Just not an arty farty person I guess.

  • I wish they sold some cheap books here, then maybe I’d be motivated to buy some because I’ve read almost everything the Library has to offer.

  • i guess book fairs in our part of the world look similar.


    I bought so many books, i may not need to buy anything for the next 6 months, may be more …. most of them were 25-30 per cent off, so that was a huge incentive.

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