It’s that time of the year again – a chill in the evening air, time to bring out the full sleeved clothes and sun the warm clothes for the days to come, look forward to chats over cups of tea and pakodas or some momos with some steaming soup (I will miss Maggi) and above all the fairs, expos & festivals that mark the season. And amongst the many fairs & expos, the one thing I love most is the book fairs.
With the era of online shopping changing the whole scenario of how we shop, visiting bookshops to get our copies of goodness has definitely come down but nothing can take replace the experience of a book fair for a book lover like me. And mind you, a book fair is most certainly about books but it’s only not just about it. The heterogeneous crowd with one common goal of grabbing their personal copy of happiness, the noise of the excitement everyone has inside them, the sparkle in the eyes on discovering a gem, the occasional announcements on the public address system about the schedule for the day as well as reporting lost and found articles and sometimes kids too (!), – everything else is a part of the book fair along with the books. 🙂
As a kid, a book fair was like my candy shop. I got confused every time (without fail), which one to buy and which one to let go for that year. My Deuta (father) used to take me and by Baa (elder sister) on his scooter to the book-fair grounds and allocated a budget to both of us (the youngest one was too young to accompany us on these trips). While my Baa had eyes on the thrillers and detective novels and did not have much of an issue in narrowing down to the ones she wanted to bring home; for me it was a huge task for I wanted them all to come home with me and to top it all, the sweet, intoxicating smell of the new books did not make it any easier. All this time, Deuta waited patiently for us outside the stall and keeping an eye on us in case we got lost in the crowd. The joy-trip ended with some pink cotton candy or samosas at one of the food stalls. 🙂
One funny thing I remember from my childhood trips to book-fair is the furtive glances we stole at the books in the Erotica section – we were too ashamed to take a proper look because of the pictures in the front cover but then we could not resist the temptation to steal a look too; and the moment someone approached us with disapproving eyes, we grabbed a copy of some insignificant book at the speed of lightening as if our lives and deaths depended on it….hahahaha! 😛
Another fun part of visiting a book-fair is people-watching – people who are in the lookout for that particular piece of art, some others who simply loiter around from one stall to another and just add to the crowd, the ones who are more interested in the different food-stalls than in the book-stalls, the laughing school/college kids for whom the event is a kind of get-together destination, the boys and young men group who are actually there to check out pretty-looking girls, couples hand in hand either sharing their common love for books or giving company to the other patiently; parents taking around their lil’ ones unaware of the fact that they are creating memories just as I did with my Deuta. 🙂
Even today, I like to enjoy that familiar feeling of nostalgia and happiness as I move from one stall to another, going through the blurb or flipping through the pages of the ones that pique my interest. No online shopping site (together with their conveniencet and amazing discounts) can match this book-buying experience ever. Last weekend I visited the book fair in my city after a gap of about 2-3 years and I had a joyful walk down the memory lane and also brought back home bundles of joy. 🙂
The gate that opens into happiness
I am linking this post to #MondayMusings at Write Tribe. Click the pic below to check what others are musing over this Monday 🙂