This was the first time that organizers preponed the book fair by a day, and instead of a weekend, launched it on a weekday. This slight change in schedule has received mixed responses from the exhibitors.

"Opening on a weekday does not make any sense to me. People are usually busy and a weekend is an ideal time for people to come here with their family. The boost we used to get on the first day is missing," Sanjay Mago, CEO, sales and marketing, Om Books International, said.

"When you are exhibiting, you come with certain expectations. We are here making business with consumers and if they are not present what is the point of investing so much money," he added.
A spokesperson from Niyogi Books agreed with Mago. "This slight change has affected so much. Usually we would get two weekends, but this year because one day is preponed, our last day now falls on a Saturday. We have missed one Sunday," he said.

"On the last day we start packing up early as we have to clear the halls by night. So here too we have lost second half of a Saturday," he added.

Organized by the Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP) in collaboration with the India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO), the fair has over 250 participants from India and abroad. It will end on August 31.

"This was not something we have done deliberately," Ashok Gupta, general secretary of FIP said.

"ITPO has already allotted the halls on that Sunday to someone. So we had to prepone it by a day. And we wouldn't have done that exhibitors would have lost a day. There was nothing much we could have done," he added.

M.L. Bhatia from National Book Trust feels that a good product and good fair will always survive. "One day here or one day there, how does it matter? It is a window to what work we are doing and people can come and see what they normally don't get to see in bookshops," he said.

"There is so much Indian publishers are doing and they are doing good work. With inflation and price of money going down, people can't afford to buy expensive books. Platforms like this offer what foreign publishers don't offer," he added.


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