Pune Book Fair postponed amid Covid surge

Most 2022 industry events rescheduled

Pune Book Fair
Set of Marathi book titles. Photo Flipkart

The Pune Book Fair, which was lined up from 20 – 23 January 2022 at Creaticity, Yerawada, has been postponed due to the recent escalation in Covid-19 infections in the city. Pune recorded 4,857 fresh Covid-19 cases on 14 January with one fatality.

Pune is largely considered the cultural capital of Maharashtra with its slew of educational centers and industrial units. The Pune Book Fair has garnered interest from the publishing industry in recent years and is now considered a prime literary interaction platform in Maharashtra and surrounding states. 

The Pune Book Fair, supported by Maharashtra Sahitya Parishad, features a number of publishers from Maharashtra as well as other states. The book show is attended by library managers, book enthusiasts, editors, booksellers, institutional representatives, students, academicians, and government officials, apart from major book publishers.

The organizing committee shared in a statement, “Considering the current situation arising out of Covid, especially Omicron, dates of the Pune Book Fair and concurrent Sahityik/Sanskrutik program have been rescheduled. The rescheduled dates will be announced soon.

The third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic has led to the postponement of major book fairs, literary festivals, conferences, seminars, and trade exhibitions in the past fortnight. The Chennai Book Fair was the first to be postponed, followed by the 50th edition of the New Delhi World Book Fair. Jaipur and Kerala Literature Festivals were not far behind. 

The Asom Granthamela however did take place with good attendance over the 12 days from 29 December 2021 to 9 January 2022. Moreover, preparations are still on for the Kolkata Book Fair, which begins on 31 January despite a major increase in fresh infections in the state. 

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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