SIBF 2013

Book lovers from subcontinent make beeline for Urdu titles
ImageBy Jamil Khan @ The Gulf Today-Sharjah, Nov 09, 2013

SHARJAH: Booklovers from all walks of life have been thronging the ongoing 32nd Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) and books from all over the world are drawing huge attention.
During the fair, publishers from various countries have introduced books in languages galore, with Arabic and English works leading the title numbers. Many visitors to the fair are seen spending a lot of time inside Pakistani and Indian stalls which are showcasing a wide array of Urdu literature.
For Urdu book lovers, Hall 5 is the ultimate destination with books published in India and Pakistan grabbing a major share of the shelf space at various stalls. As compared to last year, this year only three major publishers from Pakistan have set up their stalls, which however, compensate by offering an exhaustive range of books to satiate the thirst for knowledge — generally of people from every walk of life, and children particularly.
Shahzad Hassan, a representative of Gaba Educational Books, told The Gulf Today that this is the publisher’s debut at the Sharjah book fair and he has already observed that the response for Urdu books, especially those written for children, is very high.
The publisher is known in Pakistan for its range of colourfully illustrated educational books for schoolchildren up to the secondary level of education. It is showcasing at the fair around 500 titles that include curriculum books, besides general subjects and storybooks for all age groups.

Students’ books in demand
“In the last two days, we had a large number of Pakistani families come to our stall, evincing great interest in books designed for students.
“ The response by the Pakistani community for the books on show is remarkable and we have been asked to make our permanent presence felt in the local market, in which people say, there’s a great demand for Pakistani books, which by the way, are also very popular among Indians,” he added.
Hassan said they were planning to open their showroom in Rolla, Sharjah, to cater to the needs of the community, as many schools were keen on their products.
Tahir Akhtar from Children Publication has been participating in the fair twice before and the third time has seen his company bring to the fair around 1,000 titles for children of all age groups.
“It is always fascinating to take part in the SIBF where booklovers from every community visit and show much interest in books of different languages. What thrilled us though was the sight of many Pakistani families who visit our stall, particularly with children in tow, to buy our books,” he said.
He added that their participation in the previous two editions of SIBF generated good response and many local publishers and distributors had approached them to collaborate in the UAE market.
“We have good offers from various quarters to present Children Publication books in this market, what with our extremely competitive price range as compared to other publishers offering similar Urdu books that are popular with Pakistani families,” he said.
Sheraz A. Nagani, Director of Bookmark, said they were getting a good response from Cambridge curriculum schools. “We are here with our two major Urdu book series, in addition to titles targeting the Cambridge schools system. We had representatives from a couple of such schools visiting us in the past two days, who showed great interest in our products,” he said.
He added in the coming days, more schools were scheduled to visit the fair and hopefully, they would find Urdu books from Pakistan that cater to their needs.

~ by jamilkhan on November 9, 2013.

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