By: Dr. Debasish Bezbaruah

(GU Institute of North East India Studies)

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A book fair is not just about book buying and selling. These fairs are a platform for interaction among readers and authors. A reader in the digital age definitely can buy a book online. A book is read in kindle versions and in digital platform.

One may ask question about the future validity of such fairs. I say yes, these fairs will remain valid. Rather, importance of such fairs increases in the digital age. Definitely one can ask why?

In the digital age, people are becoming more attached digitally, but detached physically. Interactions are increasing using virtual space but decreasing on person to person level. Machines are doing two fold performances. On one fold it is opening up more contacts.

On the other, machines are closing up real human contacts. Digitally loaded people are becoming tired, neurons’ response towards human presence is increasingly lacking.

The lack of human touch creates ennui and psychological loneliness even in the presence of digital accompaniment. Non digital accompaniment of family members, like minded people etc. can spirit up human faith for positive living. Excessive affinity to digital media at one point creates boredom. The boredom decreases creativity.

Talks in person and in groups, face to face interaction, discussion, laughing, lamenting, promising in the human presence remove boredom. Human bond of unity is more strengthened when people see and interact in presence.

A book-fair, therefore, is important which gives chance of interaction, chatting, gossiping, discussing both formally and more informally.

A book-fair is a fair where writers, book sellers, readers and enthusiasts interact. In the digital book reading and selling era, book fair is important.

Moreover reading increases with more people becoming educated. The media is transforming from print to digital. Love for letters is there. The letters once read in printed page are now read in computer or phone screen.

However, letters are there to carry forth expressions. The digital book producers and sellers will take part in book fair in the coming days. Concession in digital book, kindle edition etc. will be available in those fairs. What is expected to continue is the physical interaction among people in such platforms.

Fairs filled with intelligent people talking at person to person level, group by group, chatting etc. constructively contribute towards fresh blood circulation in the social pulmonary artery.

The Northeastern bookfair, which was held recently, will be followed by different book fairs across different cities and towns, as well as sub urban centers.

The season of book fair begins. People get the chance to remove digital ennui and thinking people’s interactions to make own places vibrant with creative thoughts.

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