The 45th edition of the Chennai Book Fair, slated to be held from 6 to 23 January 2022 in the city’s YMCA Grounds in Nandanam, has been postponed amid the rising Covid-19 cases in the city. Organized by the Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI), this year’s 18-day edition was to be inaugurated by the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, MK Stalin with Anbil Mahesh Poyamozhi, the pastor of education, in attendance. The cancellation has discouraged publishers and booksellers who were planning to recover their losses of the past two pandemic-ridden years.
The Tamil Nadu government introduced fresh Covid-19 curbs on 1 January 2022 as the daily fresh infection case count crossed the 1,000 mark on 31 December 2021 in the state, postponing all exhibitions and fairs with immediate effect. The Chennai Book Fair had been extended from 12 days to 18 days with a safety limit on the number of individuals allowed to attend the event each day. The event had been planned with a view to observe all necessary precautions, with a Covid-19 vaccination camp at the fair premises.
The 44th edition of the book event is being said to have attracted more than 10 lakh people including booksellers, publishers, literary agents, book enthusiasts, students, and the general public. The much-awaited book fair was the first event in India’s book fair calendar with the opening of the annual New Delhi World Book Fair (NDWBF) just two days later on 8 January.
According to press reports, the NDWBF is also likely to be postponed although the announcement of the change of plans has not yet been issued as of noon on 4 January 2022. Meanwhile another exhibition, the Paperex 2022 that was to be held in Greater Noida from 9 to 12 January has also been canceled although new dates are likely to be announced.