7th Karachi International Book Fair was held from December 16th – 20th, 2011 at Karachi Expo Center. The fair enabled thousands of Karachiites to view huge collection of books and periodicals from local and international publishers, and book sellers, under one roof.
While the event started on December 16th, Pir Mazarul Haq, Sindh Education Minister, inaugurated the event a day later due to his busy schedule. Speaks a lot when an education minister has no time for an exhibition on books. In his inauguration speech, the minister was more concerned about his government, warning the audience that they have to bear this government, even they like it or not.
MQM’s Haider Abbas Rizvi was also a guest of honour at the event.
Coming back to the fair, there was no floor map available for visitors, not even at organizer’s website. That made it hard for visitors to plan their trip and had to check each hall for its attractions. Also, no details are available on the activities like book signing etc were available either online or at the event.
Initially it was stated by the organizers that around 20 publishes from India will participate in the fair. However, only a handful were able to make their appearance, reportedly due to lack of visa issue by Pakistani officials. A sad news for book lovers in Karachi.
There was one stand by people from Turkey, mostly selling local books. The representative was a Turkish fellow, studying Mathematics at Karachi University.
Intellectual Property Organization (IPO) Pakistan had its presence in the fair.
VShine, a Children magazine in English.
The number of stands for religious books and books in Urdu language was higher than previous events. The exhibitors included Islamic Research Academy (IRA), Quraan Academy etc. That was a positive sign, showing local publishers are encouraged to participate in such events.
Jab Zindagi Shroo Hogi was initially launched as an eBook and the publisher gained enough confidence to publish it and present at the Book Fair.
If you have missed the discount week by Paramount Publishers few months back, you can have their discounted books at KIBF. The 70% discount is mostly on children activity books which are sold for between Rs. 20-100.
Paramount Publishers had books from number of Indian publishers.
Liberty Books had one stand for magazines, and the larger one for books.
Most of their staff was unable to guide customers and seemed busy to the point of rude. The manager, Francis, was the rudest of the lot.
Liberty Books were accepting credit cards for purchases of more than Rs. 500 but that was not mentioned in print, anywhere in their stand.
Readings Book Store from Lahore exhibited for the first time at Karachi International Book Fair.
Political parties like MQM and Jamaat-e-Islami had their presence in the event. Jamaat was promoting its TV that is currently web based and is planned to be launched at cable as well.
Karachi International Book Fair is a place to visit if you love books and want to get some discounted reads. Do visit the event and share your feedback here.