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For 40 years now, the New Delhi World Book Fair has been a place where you can buy obscure, illustrated Russian children’s books and best-selling English language paperbacks and trade titles, all under the same metaphorical roof.

Since 1972, the event takes place every two years in February in the Capital, organized by the National Book Trust, India. There are reasons to believe that it might turn into an annual affair, with the Union human resource development minister Kapil Sibal announcing that efforts are on to ramp up the event, when he inaugurated the nine-day fair on 25 March.

Even for the seasoned book lover, navigating the labyrinthine spread can be onerous. This year, the fair is hosting 1,300 exhibitors in 14 halls at Pragati Maidan. Here’s our round-up of five stalls you shouldn’t miss:

Penguin India

People look at books at a stall at the World Book Fair in New Delhi. Photo: AP

The publishing house’s merchandise is also on offer—from mugs, T-shirts and notebooks to bookmarks. While at the stall, don’t forget to take a look at their silver jubilee mascot— a classic ambassador car titled The Penguin Car.

Oxford University Press

To celebrate 100 years of its existence in India, the Oxford University Press has revamped its old titles. There are also introductory books on topics ranging from post-colonialism to art and witchcraft.


The Japan stall at the foreign pavilion

2012 being the year of Japan in India, the Japanese stall is worth a special look. Look through their impressive array of English-language manga books, 500 in all.

Reado: audio books

Audio versions of about a 100 fiction and non-fiction books feature in audio-book brand Reado’s stall. Titles available range from children’s stories, popular contemporary fiction and classics, to health, self-help and business books.


This publishing house isn’t celebrating a silver jubilee or a centenary, but it spices things up with “activities". One such activity is the HarperCollins Tweet a story, where visitors to the stall are invited to post a 140-character story on the publisher’s Twitter account (@HCIndia).

The New Delhi World Book Fair 2012 is on at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, till 4 March.

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