Literary paradise

By Sameen Amer
Fri, 03, 23

Irrespective of your proximity to a canine, though, you have to admit that books are pretty darn awesome...

Literary paradise


The Lahore International Book Fair brought a varied bouquet of literary works to the City of Gardens. 'Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend,' Groucho Marx * famously said. 'Inside of a dog,' he astutely added, 'it's too dark to read.'

Irrespective of your proximity to a canine, though, you have to admit that books are pretty darn awesome. They can tell you about the world you live in, teach you how to master skills, take you on wonderful adventures, transport you to lands of endless imagination, and make you laugh and cry and feel all sorts of complicated emotions.

You have fiction and non-fiction; fantasy and biopics; mystery, sci-fi, comedy...

Now imagine all that under one roof. Just thousands and thousands of wonderful books of all kinds in every genre. It's like a bookworm's idea of heaven. And that's precisely what you get with the Lahore International Book Fair (LIBF).

The annual event brings book lovers and booksellers together for a celebration of all things literary, giving publishers a chance to showcase their works and readers the opportunity to find just the volume they are looking for.

Its 36th iteration was held at the Expo Center in Johar Town B the regular venue of the fair B from the 1st to the 5th of March, with the five day event attracting bibliophiles, the gathering in itself a welcome change of pace as the world continues to try and get back to normal post a pesky interruption by a certain virus.

Literary paradise

'The collection of books is terrific,' Ehsan Shafqat from Paramount Books told Us. Having been in the field for around half a decade and having greatly enjoyed his experience, he is enthusiastic about LIBF and what it signifies. 'Parents bring their children, and students from schools attend the event,' he said. 'We get the sense that children nowadays are not interested in books, but I have seen in just a couple of days that children are very interested in books. Parents, kids, youngsters, grownups, elderly B everyone is very interested and they are visiting and purchasing books. I hope the book fair continues; the whole point is that people of all ages attend, develop an interest in reading, and increase their knowledge.'

Just as passionate about the event was Nadeem Malik, a manager at Progressive International Agencies, who have been in this field for the last 45 years and have also been a part of the Expo event for several years now. 'Everyone is here B those who deal in international works as well as local Urdu publishers,' he said. 'Overall, the experience is really nice, 'he added, but also pointed out that the crowds haven't been quite as large as he would have hoped. 'It's a little slower than the last few years,'he told Us on the second day of the book fair, 'but overall the experience is nice and we are hoping we'll have a bigger crowd in the coming days, especially over the weekend.'

Literary paradise

If we were to hazard a guess for the downturn, we'd blame the ongoing economic crisis and inflation, because boy were the books expensive! Every purchase you made came with a side of guilt, with the #ThisIsWhyImBroke hashtag repeatedly flashing in your mind.

It's ultimately all worth it though, because irrespective of the changing times and the tiktokification of the world, there are few things that can compete with the magic of books and the joy they bring to those who embrace the habit of reading.

* The joke appears to have existed in one form or another decades before Marx supposedly said it, but the comedian did indeed make the quip famous.

* The joke appears to have existed in one form or another decades before Marx supposedly said it, but the comedian did indeed make the quip famous.


Literary paradise

Say what?

*Never lend books, for no one ever returns them; the only books I have in my library are books that other folks have lent me.' - Anatole France

*One advantage reading books has over TV is you can't read books and do housework at the same time.' - Melanie White

*I have gone to [this bookshop] for years, always finding the one book I wanted - and then three more I hadn't known I wanted.' - Mary Ann Shaffer

*Reading one book is like eating one potato chip.' - Diane Duane

* If you don't like to read, you haven't found the right book.' - J.K. Rowling


The Bookshelf

Shehzad Roy

Literary paradise

A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming: Mastering the Art of Oneironautics by Dylan Tuccillo, Jared Zeizel, and Thomas Peisel

>The book I've read most recently is A Field Guide to Lucid Dreaming. You can somehow control your dreams if you practice after reading this book B this is the best part. I liked the book, although I thought after reading this I'll be able to exchange a dream with another, but that's more difficult and not part of the book; the rest is cool.'

Haroon Rashid

Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story by Bono

'The book I read most recently was Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story, which is Bono's (from U2) autobiography. I thought it was very entertaining. Being a musician myself it is probably more relevant and relatable for me.

Literary paradise

'The thing I liked most about the book was the insight into how the band got together as young teenagers at school, how they struggled and strived to fulfil their dreams to reach global relevance and stardom. I also liked some of the stories about how some of the songs were composed and written. Being a songwriter myself this always interests me.

I wish Bono went into more detail regarding the successes and failures of the individual albums and songs/singles on the charts (statistically) as they released them over the years. But probably that is something that only a musician such as myself would be curious about.

* Overall I found the book entertaining and insightful. I think I would recommend it to U2 fans (of which there are millions) and musicians like myself. Also while I read the book I was able to go back and chronologically re-listen to and watch their songs and music videos. Interestingly the U2 songs that I either loved or disliked, when I first heard them years ago, still holds true today.'

Areej Chaudhary

I Am Winning: A Guide to Personal Empowerment by Natalie Glebova

*The book I have read most recently is I Am Winning. I would like to recommend this book to everyone!

Literary paradise

This book is written by Miss Universe 2005, Natalie Glebova. I met her personally and discussed so much about her journey with her, which she has highlighted in her book B how hard her journey was but still she never gave up and how she focused on positivity by becoming her own teacher.

* This book is all about personal empowerment which delivers a road map towards stimulating a champion mindset for personal happiness and successful living. I think this is the most important part of life which we mostly lack in our society. Personal empowerment is very important so it doesn't matter which gender we are; it's all about how we can focus on our goals and life after failures and taking them positively and always keep trying.

* This book is really good. It gives a lot of motivation and helps out in so many ways for the beginners and for everyone who sometimes gets demotivated by rejections.''