And everyone read happily ever after…

November 13, 2006

Once upon a time, there was a book festival that grew more rousing and fun every year, and would bring together authors, exhibitors and book lovers from nearly everywhere!

Well, you know what I am writing about, don’t you? My wife, one-year-old son, myself and my Mother-in-law had an excellent weekend. We all had been to the Book fair which started on Nov.10 (it’s on till the 19th at the Palace Grounds here). My son was really happy to see so many books, people and ample space for him to walk around. He added quite a few books (those thick-paged ones which are shaped like a cute puppy, fish and so on). I got a couple of real treasures, apart from other books. One is titled GANDHI, which has some never-seen-before photographs. And the other is a book on DV Gundappa, brought out during his birth centenary. Great catch, I felt! My wife and M-I-L also made some good purchases.

A friendly advice to all book-lovers to start with: you better have a good breakfast before you head for the book fest. It takes some energy to walk in and out of nearly 300 bookstalls with close to 10 lakh books on display. All of us were drained out at the end of the day. Although we wanted to stay for a few more hours (we went at 11 in the morning and came home at 6 pm), our legs were really paining. But if you have the staying powers and the rare knack of zeroing in on what you want despite distractions, you are sure to stumble upon some rare gems here. The fest holds a massive collection of books of various publications from India and overseas.

The festival has been organized by Bangalore Booksellers and Publishers Association. (BBPA started the annual book fair in 2003, to inculcate book reading habit among the youth and provide a forum for various publications across the country to promote their books). You can visit the fair between 11 a.m and 8 p.m. everyday. Tickets are Rs.20/- per head.

You will, of course, have to do far less wading through if you are interested in children’s books or books on self-help, computers, management, spirituality and so on. There are books in these categories as far as eyes can see and these are the books that top the sales charts.

A big draw at the fair are language books, especially Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. You will find established Kannada publishers such as Manohara Granthamala and Nava Karnataka besides more recent ones such as Abhinava, Sanchaya and C.V.G. Publications which have been bringing out some exciting books. The Kannada Pustaka Pradhikara has several tables and there are some rare ones here such as ‘Dheemantha’, a collection of beautiful articles, brought out during DVG’s birth centenary.

In fact, the entire fair is an interesting space that brings together (though not by conscious design) various ideological streams under one roof. There are stalls by Rashtrotthana Parishat, Chinmaya Mission, Ramakrishna Mutt, Iskcon and some Christian institutions even as there is a stall by Shanthi Prakashana (which specialises in books on Islam).

Some of the reputed publishers such as Oxford University Press, Macmillan and Cambridge University have also put up their stalls. I loved Murthy’s Select Bookshop stall, The Hindu stall, IBH and NBT stalls, to name a few. At the stall on Stammering Cure, I saw many youngsters buying the book on how to face interviews. The good news for bookworms is that most stalls offer a discount.

The Bangalore Book Fair has added a very regional touch by hosting a good many number of stalls selling regional language books, fiction and non-fiction. There are at least half a dozen stalls selling Tamil books, a few of Malayalam, Telugu, Sanskrit and many Kannada book stalls. The regional language books give a good variety this time.

There were many stalls selling CD-ROMS and video CDs for kids which had popular rhymes and stories in an animated form. But I feel reading books is better for kids from an early age because when children become good readers in the early years, they are more likely to become better learners throughout their school years and beyond. Also, reading books helps kids improve their imagination power.

My son really enjoyed being at the book fest. He handled many books and it was a sight to see him walk from one stall to another. At The Hindu stall, a guy jokingly asked him, “Which paper do you read” and was flabbergasted to hear “Hindu” from my son. At another stall, an old man held a book and asked my son, “What is this, kid?” and when my son told “Book’, the old chap felt happy that my son atleast knew what it was.

During late afternoon, we had lunch at the food stalls. There was a Dr.Rajkumar Rangamandira (Stage) which was set up adjacent to the food stalls. There were many kids dancing to the tunes of popular patriotic and folk songs. We enjoyed seeing the enthusiastic kids dance. I went to the organiser and asked him if I could sing a song in memory of Dr. Rajkumar.  He agreed and handed over the mike after making a short announcement. I sang Elladaru Iru Enthadaru Iru (written by Kuvempu). It was my tribute to Annavru during Suvarna Karnataka celebrations.

After lunch, we resumed our ‘Find-and-Search’ activity, browsing and seeing through the rest of the stalls. By late evening, my son was feeling sleepy. And we were also physically tired. At the end of the day, when we finally went home, we had hands full of books, eyes full of wonder, and a mind full of ideas! And I am sure all those at the book fest fell in love with the written word in their own special ways!

35 Responses to “And everyone read happily ever after…”

  1. Veena Shivanna Says:

    Another post where I got to comment First. I would be the one who wants to enjoy visiting. I shall make an attempt to go there. Honesly there are lot of books pending for reading & Mohan wrote me recently, unlike other books don’t keep this book in your book wrack while he was suggesting me a book to read.
    Great to hear about the song dedicated to annavru. I have your naadamaya recorded on my Nokia 7610 in my laptop. I am not sure on the podcasting much.. I shall send you over email atleast. Girish hampali program bagge ondu post bariri saar ! 🙂
    Have a great afternoon.

  2. prashanth Says:

    ಈ ವಿಷಯ ನನಗೆ ಗೊತ್ತೇ ಇರಲ್ಲಿಲ್ಲ… ಛೇ!! ನಿನ್ನೆ ಪೂರ್ತಿ ಕಾಲ ಕಳೆದೆ… ಗೊತ್ತಿದ್ದರೆ ನಿನ್ನೆ ಪೂರ್ತಿ ಅಲ್ಲೇ ಕಾಲ ಕಳೆದಿರ್ತಾ ಇದ್ದೆ… ಶನಿವಾರದವರೆಗೆ ಕಾಯ್ಬೇಕು… 😦
    ವಿಷಯ ತಿಳಿಸಿದ್ದಕ್ಕೆ ಧನ್ಯವಾದಗಳು… 🙂

  3. Praneshachar Says:

    book fairge nivu kutumba sametha hogi enjoy madiddu tilidu bahala kushi aitu. nanu hogabeku anth plan madtidde adare tumba busy gottilla 19ra olage biduvu adare hogtini. nimma
    putani master BRK happy agi fairnalli odadiddu keli bahala santosha aitu. hige munduvariyali nimma prayana

  4. rk Says:

    i am sure you will enjoy the visit. and do take a list of all the titles because after going there, you will forget many titles, and of course you will remember many forgotten ones too!
    khanditha bheti kodi. esp. photography books nimage ishta aagatthe.
    prayathna maadi saar. nimma akka bandidre, avarannu karkond hogi. aadre naanu heliro haage, ‘gadatthaagi’ hottege haakkond hodre, olledu!!

  5. praneshachar Says:

    namma akka bangaloorige banddiddare adare innu namma manege bandilla magana manege hogi alliinda mysorinalli innobba magana manege hogiddare illige banda nantara navu yojane hakone namma bhetiyu akka banadaga adare bahala santosha. iga avarige asthuu nadiyalu agallikkilla nodona nanu khandita prayatna madtini

  6. TSSM Says:

    What a treat it must have been!

    “kannige impu,
    manake thampu’

    May your child enjoy the books.

    I have just now requested my colleague at Bangalore to get me the “Dheemantha”.

    Suggested readings (all kannada):

    Prof.B.G.L.Swamy(DVG’s son)- ‘Hasiru Honnu’
    Ta.Su.Shamaraya- ‘Mooru Thalemaru’
    Navaratnaram – “Haleya Nenapugalu”

    (these titles may or may not be available at the Book Fair).

    Long back, (some time in the early 80s), ‘Kannada Saahitya Parishat’ brought out 200 titles, during ‘ Vishwa Kannada Sammelana’ each priced at Rs.5/- or so, (so that all could afford it). Some very good titles were brought out during that time.

    Does any one have the complete or even partial list of those titles, if so could they mail it to me at

    I will be grateful to him/her.

    With Good Wishes.

  7. rk Says:

    nimma akka bandirodu thilidu santhosha aaythu. neevu aadre hogbittu pustakagalanna nodi banni saar. 🙂

    i was just thinking about you when i was at the fair. i bought the titles you had suggested (Sir MV, Rangannana kanasina Dinagalu). forgot to buy ‘mareyalaadeethe’. will visit again this weekend. thanks for suggesting a few more titles. will surely try to get these.
    if you can come to bangalore for the book fair this weekend, it will be great! idaralli nanna swaartha kooda ide. nimmanna bheti maadida haagu aagatte!! 😉

  8. TSSM Says:

    Dear RK,

    Thanks for the reply.

    I am not sure whether I will be there. but who knows, if god willing, i will be there.

    ‘happy reading and story telling’

    ‘will love to meet you.’

  9. rk Says:

    neevu barli antha nanna aase. aadre nimage balavantha maadi nimage thondre maadalla. hope to see you soon!! 🙂

  10. Veena Shivanna Says:

    Poorna chandra tejaswi’s books are also worth going through. Nice & simple to understand. Check “Annana nenapu” .. Its awesome!
    Will list some more soon!

  11. nilagriva Says:

    Great write-up on the book fair. Too bad I won’t be able to attend this year’s exhibition.

    Other random titles –
    tamiLu talegaLa naDuve – BGL Swamy (Humorous yet serious. Read my blog for my thoughts on the book)

    jIvanadharmayOga – DVG (the best book in Kannada on the bhagavadgItA)

    Bhitti (probably out of print now), vaMshavRikSha, sArtha, dATu, gRihabhanga – SL Bhyrappa (This man’s writing is simply awesome)

    Pu Chan Te’s – kiragUrina gaiyALigaLu and of course his wonderful chidaMbara rahasya

    KS Narasimhaswamy’s complete collection of poetry – malligeya mAle can be had for Rs 500. He is just wonderful. I actually bought this from the same book fair a couple of years ago.


  12. rk Says:

    thanks for mentioning about poorna chandra tejaswi’s book. waiting for your list! eager to see the titles….

    glad you liked the write up. and thanks for suggesting those titles. it really helps to know about new books from bibliophiles like you. thanks once again. take care and best wishes.

  13. decemberstud Says:

    Cool RK…that must be awesome !!!

    do you know if they are on the net somewhere ? I bet Amazon does not sell as many Kannada books….

  14. praneshachar Says:

    nanage thumba thumba santhosha agta ide nivellaa yenthaha sahitya priyaru nimmellara kannaadabhimana mattu sahityabhimanakke koti koti vandanegalu
    tamil talegala naduve thumba cheenagide
    byrappanavara pustakala bagge kelabeke
    purna chnadra tejaswi books odilla innu munde khandita oduttene
    yendro mahanabhavalu andariki namasakramu (tappiiddare tiddi)
    i blog nodi kannada bhashe sayalu kannadigaru( swalpa percentage adaru bidulvadilla) janagalige IT avaru andare bare english mattu maodern jana anta anisike nivu adannu
    sariyalla yendu prove maduttiddiri
    nanage blog naodalu karanavada MUKTA dharavahi blog madidi sanjay mattu itara yellar snehitarige god give them strength to strength on all their efforts to keep live culture sahitya kale………………………………………..

    nanna dina thumba cheenaagi shuravaitu

  15. TSSM Says:

    ‘One million electronic books on the interent’ ?

    that too ‘free of charge’ ?

    incredible ?

    read on, at

  16. Gangadhar Says:

    Glad you people had a great weekend,RK. I love book festivals too.but here in hyd it’s missing now a days..
    Enjoyed reading Narayan’s doings..My blessings to him…

    hava nice day!

  17. rk Says:

    thanks. about e-books, my friend TSSM has given a useful link in his comment below.

    thanks for your comments, sir. Endaro Mahanubhavulu. Andariki Vandanamulu.
    let it be s/w person or a h/wperson, everyone should respect their mother, mother tongue, motherland, motherboard….
    nimma comment odhi nanna dina saha chennagi shuru aaythu! 😀

    thanks for the link. ebooks are gradually becoming popular.

    hope Hyd. Book Fest resumes soon. thanks for your wishes. have a great ‘children’s day’ with aarush!

  18. TSSM Says:


    Thanks for the ebooks link.

    nothing can substitute a book in hand,
    an undisturbed and cozy place to read,
    an occasional filter coffee to sip and ‘khaara’ to munch,
    bliss indeed !

  19. praneshachar Says:

    s/w adarene shive h/w adarenu shive
    yellargigu matru bhase onde shive
    matru bhase ulisie beslisi
    ithara bhasegallunnu poshisi
    yesthu bahase galannu kalitaru olleyade
    matruhaseyannu mareyadiddare

    kannada ulisi bere bhashegalannu poshisi
    adare bahala kannadigaru kannada marethu
    bere bhashgalannu belestare idannu bidi

  20. usha Says:


    Jagave pustakamaya

    TSSM avre, neevu heylidha kannada sahitya parishattina pustakagalu nammanli idhe.. namma tande collection, u r right its wonderful collection. I was so excited to learn that you know abt the publish. nammanege dodda parcel banda dina nange tumba khusi agbittithu, maney tumba pustaka ….

    Hasiru honnu ondhu adbutha pustaka, yestu sari odidru adhu chenna, Avara Tamilu talegala naduve, pradhyapaka peetadalli, namma hotteyalli dakshina america adbutha kruthigalu…

    Navaratnaram avara Kelavu (Haleya)nenapugalu kooda ondhu shrestha kruthi, Vee cee avara pampaa yathre, Masthi avara subbanna, DVG avara samagra kruthi, B G L swamy avara panchakalashagopura, m k indira avara phaniyamma, kelavu kruthigalu yellaru odalebekadavu. inu mookajjiaya kansugalu, mooru talemaru, mahabrahmana, …. list goes on

    Bellur , Namma tande ondhu list tayarisi ittidare, authors and books bagge, i will try to put the data in a soft copy and post it, for everybody’s use… Good news is all these books are n ow available at ankitha pustaka (Gandhi bazaar)as well kannada sahitya parishattu…

  21. rk Says:

    wrt books in hand, you said it!

    karnatakadalli kannadada sthithi heegagirodhu viparyasa. master hirannayya heliro haage, shivajinagarada aakade “ennada”, eekade “ekkada”, madhya swalpa “kannada”!

    thanks a bunch for those marvellous titles. i have read a few. would love to have the others in my collection. waiting for that authors & books list. if you could give it before this weekend, i can check it out in the book fest! (nimma thandege thumba thanks, for making listing the titles).

  22. TSSM Says:

    Usha avarige dhanyavaadhagalu.

    Thanks for the corrections of book titles.

    Saahitya parishattina list, Dayavittu madi Rk avara moolakave kalisi , yake andre bahala janarige upayoga aguttadhe. If RK finds the list too big, he may then kindly send it to me by email.

    Innoo swalpa pustakagalu:-

    Namma Oorina Rasikaru,
    Hemavathiya teeradalli,
    Halli Chitra
    all by -Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar- the master story teller.

    Nanna devaru matthu itara kathegalu by Kuvempu

    Bettada Jeeva,
    Marali mannige,
    Iddaroo chinte,
    My Managala Sutiyalli,

    all by Shivarama Karantha

  23. usha Says:

    😀 Abba Halu kudidasthu santosha agthaidhe…:D

    Namma halliya chitragalu ..Gorurara kruthi adralli .. sheenappana charecter, Halliaya Jodidararu.. and others aha aa pustakada odu yestu khushi koduthe andre varnisakke agalla…

    Avara Amerikadalli Goruru kooda ondhu olleya pravasa khatana… hageye B G L Swamy avara americadalli nanu koodu ondhu haasyamaya pravasa khatana.. avu 1960 -70 nalli bareyalpattiddaru eegalu prastutha

  24. usha Says:

    Thx Praneshacharre and TSSM avre for kind words..

    Bellur , i will post them soon, I would also like to visit bok exhibition .. did u come across complete work of Prof G V there (Igo Kannada) all other shops have single books, i was looking for the complete work…

  25. Shruthi Says:

    Very good, concise, and useful “review” of the book fair!
    Smiled reading about the little one’s replies 🙂

  26. rk Says:

    TSSM and usha,
    i am overjoyed seeing these titles! maybe i need to take a new cupboard and before that, i may have to hire a tempo this weekend to transport these books back home! keep it coming!!! ‘thanks’ helidare thumba kammi nimage. ananthanantha vandanegalu.

    usha, i saw 2 parts of GV’s “igo kannada”. do visit the fair.

    glad you liked the post. aadare hogbittu banni ellaru. aayasa maadkobedi.

  27. TSSM Says:


    My colleague wants information on ‘Diggaja’ Publishers and the stall where it could be purchased from the BBFair.

    Can you pl.provide the details?

    Thanking you

  28. rk Says:

    it is “Dheemantha”, not Diggaja. the stall where you will find it is ‘Abhinava’, by GIPA (Gokhale Institute of public Affairs). don’t remember the stall number, but from the entrance, ask your friend to take 3 U-turns….or better ask the stall number at the reception.
    hope your friend has a great time there. cheers!!

  29. Veena Shivanna Says:

    Bellur, we visited the book fair today! Thanks a TON for this one. I shall list the book names that I got.. almost more than 20 I guess.. I got some Raja Raviverma photos also.. amazing collections! I am still flying in the ninth cloud..Thanks a lot man!

  30. Veena Shivanna Says:

    Raja Ravi varma photos alla, ayyo paintings!

  31. Ram Says:


    Thanks for the link for e-books. Incidentally, the books you mentioned (published in 80s), I have most of them, especially of Dr. DVG’s and Dr BGL Swamy’s and Navaratna Rama Rao. If you are in India (especially in Mysore or Bangalore), I can lend you them on RETURNABLE basis.

  32. rk Says:

    welcome. 🙂

    i am happy you visited the book fair. i am a fan ravi varma. have inherited some old paintings from my great grandfather. do get those ravi varma prints framed soon. waiting to see your book list.

    good to know you have read them all! you must be having a solid collection. would love to see them sometime.

  33. Veena Shivanna Says:

    ayyo, book list khandita kodteeni. Let me first right my name on those.. I have just removed the books out of polythene bags & arranged in my cupboard! Let me do that listing out soon..

  34. […] And everyone read happily ever after… – About Bangalore Book Festival 2006 • Don’t forget to feed your reading habit by Melvin […]

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