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Bhubaneswar: Offering more than heavy discounts on books, the 34th edition of Bhubaneswar Book Fair has much more in store for visitors this year. While visitors get to try a hand at art, in a novel initiative, the fair also has an interactive space for writers and book lovers.

Visitors and writers are seen enjoying chats on various issues at this unique space called the ‘Ekabinsa Lekhaka Khati” that gives a platform for intellectual discussion.

“In book fairs unfortunately there’s no space for the writers to meet and chat. This time we thought to set up a ‘Khatti’ for the writers where we can talk about literature. In the evening a lot of literary persons come here and we discuss on a lot of topics,” said writer Amiya Ranjan Mahapatra.

There are other new stalls put up by various organisations that are grabbing eye-balls at the fair.

A special art competition named ‘Art Fiesta’ is also being organised here where artists from all age groups are taking part. This contest is organised by ‘I Am Artist’ foundation to create interest in art and craft mostly among the youth visiting the fair.

“We don’t have any age bar in this competition where evaluation will be done on the basis of likes on Facebook. We are conducting this for the first time in the book fair,” said Kalyani Acharya from ‘I am Artist’ foundation.

“My hobby is to paint. I love painting. I have come here in search of books but when I saw this competition I took part in it,” said a young painter Purvi.

At another unique stall, toys for cognitive development of kids are available. Children visiting the stall are fascinated to see these interesting toys.

“Children like to learn through toys rather than books. They want to gain knowledge in a colourful manner. Toys attract them more. There are different puzzle games, slides and other toys at our store,” said Vijaya Reddy, owner of toy store.

When it comes to books, both fiction and non-fiction of various genres like medicine, science & technology, politics, astrology, religion, culture, art, education and sports can be found in the racks here.

“We got very good response in initial few days but due to rain last three days were really dull. Today more number of visitors have come up and we expect the numbers to keep growing,” said secretary of the Ashok Mohanty.

There are around 250 stalls at the fair which started on November 11 and will continue till November 22.



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