Chennai Book Fair

In 2004, I went to the book fair in a hurry and peeped into very few stalls and bought just two books of Sujatha “Thiraikathai Ezhudhuvadhu Eppadi?” and “Vignyana Sirukathaigal”. But this time I entered the Book Fair grounds at 1.00 PM and left at 4.30 PM spending 3.5 hours completely in browsing through almost 50 stalls out of 300. Not that I didn’t want to go to all the stalls, but my legs started to tremble and I couldn’t keep standing and walking any more.

The crowd was unbelievable with people of all ages mobbing the stalls buying books of their own interest. Initially the crowd was manageable but when I came out, there was literally no space to move. Even one who is not interested in reading books will be interested to buy books and read just by going to this book fair and watching an enthusiastic crowd buying and carrying dozens of books in each hand. I had only one book (“Thiraikathai Payirchi Puthagam” by Sujatha) in my mind to buy while entering the venue. But I ended up buying 5 books “Thiraikathai Payirchi Puthagam”, “Yeppodhum Pen” and “Thirukkural - Pudhiya Urai” by Sujatha and Anandha Vikatan’s compilation “Ivanthan Bala” and “Theruvasakam” by Yugabharathi and a magazine called “Thirai”.

There were many other books which I wanted to buy but couldn’t due to some financial constraints. “Ulaga Cinema” by Ramakrishnan, “Kadhal Screenplay”, “Ponniyin Selvan”, Some Indra Soundarrajan novel, Vairamuthu’s “Kallikattu Ithigasam”, Sujatha’s “Marma Kathaigal”, “Katradhum Petradhum – 2”, “Cinemavum Nanaum – Mahendran” and “Hollywood Azhaikiradhu”. The problem is that the stalls don’t have facility to buy the books using Credit Cards. We can buy the books using credit cards also but for that we have to walk to some place, pay there and return the bill in the respective stall to collect the book.

There are many screenplay books of movies like Kadhal Kottai, Poovae Unakkaga, Unnidathil Ennai Koduthaen, Sindhu Bhairavi etc., but l couldn’t find the screenplay of Heyram, which I always wanted to buy. I am not interested in reading these screenplay books as someone else write it after watching the movie. It will be interesting to read the screenplay written for the movie before it is actually shot.

I am really surprised by the quality of the content in the magazine called “Thirai” which is about world cinema and Tamil cinema. It has got no glossy pictures of actors or actresses. It seems some passionate film buffs run this magazine. The stall also had VCD’s of interesting short films. I am going to subscribe this monthly magazine. And in many stalls I found the VCD of “Kamaraj” movie too.

The Tamil version of autobiography of Gandhiji is now got released and my friend bought it. Actually I have read the one in English. The interesting thing in the stall is, if we buy the Autobiography of Abdul Kalaam we get Gandhiji’s for free.

I was bowled over by the book “En Narambu Veenai” (Kavitha Publications) written by Illayaraja. It is full of Venbas. I didn’t buy it, as I didn’t understand most of them that I read when I glanced through the book for few minutes. I expect someday Illayaraja will write a book on music. Actually I was searching for some interesting books on music but I couldn’t find any except Hindu’s book on Music, which is a compilation of various music articles that appeared in Hindu magazine.

Haven’t really started reading any of the books I bought but here is what I know about these books

“Thiraikathai Payirchi Puthagam” by Sujatha is an interesting one. The aspiring filmmakers and movie buffs can try this book. It is like a practical workbook. It is not just to read. From what little I have seen, it seems like we have to prepare a script and start writing the screenplay in this book. I bought “Eppodhum Pen” just out of curiosity created by one of Lazy Geek’s post. Really don’t know what it is all about.
The most interesting book of the lot is “Thirukkural – Pudhiya Urai” written by Sujatha. It has got meaning of all 1330 kurals in simple words with the explanation not more than 10 -15 words for each kural. “Theruvasakam” by Yugabharathi is an interesting collection of poems written on common people that we meet on roadsides daily. “Ivanthan Bala” is also Anandha Viakatan’s compilation of director Bala’s life story.

I want to buy some Indira Soundarrajan’s novel. Can anyone suggest which book is his best? I saw some novels like “Sivam”, “Magalingam”, “Kannigal Yezhuper”, “Vaa Vaa Karuppa”, and “Kaadhala Ithu Kaathala!” and some more.

Actually I am planning to go to the fair again in coming weekend. Not to buy the books but just to know about more Tamil books and writers. For someone who is in his infant stage of reading like me (starting reading only 8 months before), such book fairs are necessary to get more interest in books.


Mumbai Ramki said...

Suresh ,
Where is the fair goin on ? Whats the time and days ?
Iam eager to buy sujata's book

Suresh Kumar said...

It is going on in Quaide Milleth College Grounds, it is in the Mount Road, Close to Spencer Plaza.
It is from be from Jan 6 to Jan16. Timing: 2.00 PM to 9.00PM in weekdays and 11.00 AM to 9.00 PM in weekends.

prasad said...

eagerly awaiting your reviews on sujatha's books :)

Suresh Kumar said...

prasad: haven't really started reading the books due to my hectic work schedule. will sure write on it once i complete reading the books.

EnvyRam said...

Suresh, the fair was good. But had lots of tamil books than english books. So it wasnt as interesting for me as it was for you. Somehow i prefer Landmark's book collections than any other book store or fair ...

But yes even i was surprised to see such a huge crowd. So many readers in chennai ...