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December 6, 2019

Book lovers throng KIBF on first day


December 6, 2019

The five-day 15th Karachi International Book Fair (KIBF) kicked off on Thursday at the Karachi Expo Centre where a large number of book lovers, including students, teachers, librarians, literary personalities and general public, took keen interest in purchasing books on a variety of subjects from more than 330 bookstalls.

Since 2005, the Pakistan Publishers & Booksellers Association (PPBSA) has been organising the KIBF in association with the National Book Foundation. The book fair has become a major cultural event of the city.

Not only local publishers and booksellers have set up stalls at the KIBF but many international publishers are also participating in the event, including those from Iran, India, Turkey, Malaysia, England, and other countries.

The book fair was inaugurated by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah. He said the provincial government would take every possible step to enhance reading habits across the province.

The CM lamented the decline in reading habit in our younger generations. “This is evident from the fact that hardly any young person is sitting in the audience here,” he said, adding that “we will have to revive our old culture of finding best books in the shelves of libraries, in the corners of bookstores, on the push-carts and footpaths.”

He was of the view that in this digital age, most of the students read books on modern gadgets such as mobile phones, Ipads and laptops but the satisfaction in reading a hard copy could not be achieved through digital books. “I am not discouraging reading of digital books but just sharing my personal experience,” he said, adding that he was also planning to establish a digital library having the facilities of a café, and garden among others.

Talking to the media, the CM said he was working hard to fill the vacant posts of teachers in Sindh. “There are more than 7,000 vacant positions of teachers.”

PPBSA Chairman Azeez Khalid said on the occasion when the KIBF was initiated in 2005, it was confined to just a single hall of the Expo Centre but now, it has been extended to three halls.

Later, talking with The News, Azeez said the aim of starting the book fair was to show the world that Pakistanis were book lovers. “At that time, the country’s law and order situation was not good. Therefore, the association decided to organise the KIBF and convey a positive message about Pakistan.”

Commenting on the rising trend of e-books, he said Pakistan still needed p-books. “A majority of parents and the general public can’t afford to buy expensive mobile phones and e-readers,” he added.

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