November 26: The South Asian International Book Fair 2023 held at the Exhibition Hall in Bhrikutimandap, Kathmandu, concluded on Saturday, attracting as many as 25,000 visitors, according to the organizers.
The book fair organized by Nepal Books and Stationery Business and the Current Media and Research Centre was inaugurated by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on November 21.
Visitors were found purchasing new publications of Nepal and famous foreign books as well as books related to spirituality showcased in the fair having over 180 stalls, shared Rajendra Tiwari, the coordinator of the fair.
Tiwari claimed that it was for the first time in Nepal such an international level of book fair was organized. Participants included publishers, producers and distributors from over 15 countries including Nepal, India, China, Bangladesh, the USA and Egypt among others.
Tiwari said the objective of the event was to develop and promote reading culture and how to timely deliver books to the readers.
Seminars were organized alongside the fair where publishers, distributors and producers deliberated on the issues surrounding the culture of reading, national polices on books and school textbooks.
The organizers argued that it was imperative for the government to put in place infrastructures to promote the culture of reading and for that to happen, the organizers pointed out, the government should protect the publishers and writers alike.
Publication houses participating in the fair complained that the government did not consider discounts on the taxes and customs charges for the publishers and distributors.
The organizers as well as the participants of the seminars had pressed for recognizing book publishing sector as an industry.
Former Minister Chhabilal Bishwakarma, who was one of the visitors of the fair, opined that the culture of reading should be developed and promoted regardless of technological advancement.
Books such as 'Aaithan', 'Nirnayasindhu', 'Dharmasindhu' and "Himavat Khanda' and 'Rastra-Pararastra', a memoir of Dr Bhekh Bahadur Thapa, were among the bestsellers in the fair, said the publishers. -- RSS