Coal capital Dhanbad is all set to rediscover the joys of reading, courtesy a mega book fair that kicks off at Kohinoor Maidan from Friday.
The 10-day National Book fair ' to be organised by Samay India jointly with Pustak Mela Samiti, New Delhi ' is likely to see over 102 stalls and 3.5 lakh books on varied subjects for sale.
Forty publishing houses were expected to attend the event. But only seven ' Samay Prakashan, Bharatiya Gyandeep, Rajpal and Sons, Sahitya Sadan, Lok Mitra Prakashan, Rupa Prakashan and Cambridge ' have confirmed their participation.
The organisers said the fair's theme this year would be Indian revolutionaries.
The highlight of the fair will be an aam aadmi ka stall or common man's kiosk.
Though no different from the others, the aam aadmi stall will primarily showcase works by Indian writers only, including some on social activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal, which are expected to draw crowds.
Organisers have also decided to pepper the event with a number of movies based on revolutionaries and social issues.
"We will start by screening a 30 minute feature film on Chandrashekhar Azad on Saturday from 6pm. Documentaries on Tatya Tope and Ramprasad Bismil will be screened on December 16 and 17 respectively," secretary of Samay India Chandrabhushan said.
A 90-minute film on Birsa Munda, titled Ulgulan- Ek Kranti, is also scheduled to be screened on December 18 while a short film on Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, titled Swaraj, will be shown on December 19.
"The fair is for everyone. Besides hard copies, we will also put up for sale digitised version of books, which will be available in CD format," said secretary of Samay India Chandrabhushan.
He added that though the entry fee to the fair was Rs 5, students in uniforms would be given free entry.
Aspiring writers can also get the write platform. "We are looking to promote young writers. So we have decided to put in place a system where rookie writers can get manuscripts to the Aam Aadmi stall for us to read. If we like the story, we will publish it," said Mukesh Kumar of Samay India.