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.
Religious books have a pretty huge market.
Indian stall stayed vacant the first day
Khana-e-Farhang (Iranian cultural centre) selling Persian best sellers.