Dubai: India will be the focus at the 30th edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair that starts today.
The book fair will have the largest ever display of books from Indian authors for the first time in the Middle East with more than 100,000 titles being showcased.
"This year will be the ‘India Focus' year at the book fair. Prominent Indian authors will be visiting the fair and there will be book signing and book reading sessions and special interactions with the author along with several other attractions," said Ravi D.C. chief executive officer of D.C. Books, which is coordinating with the India focus theme.
Among the authors from India who will visit the fair and interact with the readers include Shashi Tharoor, M.T. Vasudevan Nair, Ruskin Bond, Shobha De, Chetan Bhagat, Jaisree Misra, Dr Lakshmi Nair, Umbayee and M. Mukundan. India's Minister for Civil Aviation and Overseas Indian Affairs, Vayalar Ravi, will also be present.
"It will be a great opportunity for the Indian community as well as readers who are keen on Indian writing to know these authors and learn more about the culture and writing from India," said Ravi.
He said there has been an overwhelming response from school and college students to participate in the interactive sessions with the authors.
"We are expecting more than 10,000 students to participate throughout the fair."
Students will get special discount on books and the books will also be priced 40-50 per cent lesser than the regular price here.
"There is a growing interest in Indian writing worldwide. Student interactions with the authors will also be an inspiration for the youngsters that will encourage the habit of reading among them. Besides, readers from other countries can get exposure to Indian writers," said Ashok Babu, Consul, Consulate General of India.
Being organised by the Department of Culture and Information, Government of Sharjah, the 10-day book fair, will witness participation from more than 750 publishers from 42 countries and 30 international authors.
More than 400,000 people are expected to visit the fair.