Books, books everywhere

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6.

All that abundance of titles lining the large halls makes you wonder: when was the last time you read a newly-published book that was not mentioned in a major newspaper or magazine? What happens to those titles that are not well-marketed, reviewed, mentioned in the mainstream media? How can such voices be heard, discovered?

But then again, consider this: In these days of social media prominence,  reading a book is turning into a social act.  You blog about the book you’ve just read, you mention it in your Facebook status or Tweet about it. In such a world, what (social) value is a book no one has heard of?  So the social media regurgitates what has been going around in mainstream media, we hear about the same authors again and again, and the only new voices heard are those with good connections to mainstream media.

For an aspiring writer, the fair offers a simple message: get connected, or fade into obscurity.

I return with a resolution: to read a newly-published author not reviewed in any of the mainstream media, and then review it in this space. Now I must go find such a book.



7 thoughts on “Books, books everywhere

  1. In India, your quest would not be difficult. Actually, anywhere in the world, your quest would not be difficult. Just go to a bookshop and browse, there are so many more writers than you’ve heard of.

    Sined,

    Just got something like 40 new books (new to me). MOST excited.

    1. The emphasis on that last sentence was unintended, Bunny. So the point was not that it is difficult to find such books, but that such books are not “shown” to us by mainstream media. Mostly.

      You are an exception, of course!

  2. Interesting points Parmanu. And though I agree with Bunny to an extent you are right. We browse and buy but I wonder if known names and titles play at the back of our minds unconsciously. Unfortunately, tweets and FB posts about books/movies etc encourage a lot of herd mentality.

  3. Btw, you can’t buy at the Frankfurt bookfair, but you can pick up books when it closes. The publishers who display there don’t take their samples back, so they’re free for all. Just heard this from a writer I know who was invited there.

    1. Yes, on the last day you can negotiate at some – not all – stalls, and if you are lucky you can carry something back. I still haven’t figured out the magic formula, though.

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