Demand for printed books still strong in India despite global decline
- POSTED: 30 Sep 2013 17:30
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Printed books are seeing a decline in the West as more people turn to digital books or e-books, but in India, the printed word is still king.
INDIA: Printed books are seeing a decline in the West as more people turn to digital books or e-books.
But in India, the printed word is still king.
And this is prompting international publishers to venture into the country, which is the world's third largest English-language book market.
While the e-book explosion has led to the closure of bookstores in many parts of the world, the book market in India has shown a remarkable resilience.
Experts believe the trend is here to stay for some time.
Dr Ashok Gupta, general secretary at the Federation of India Publishers, said: "Growth potential is very high -- that means for another 50 to 100 years, we can continue to grow in the educational sectors… the market is so big.
“With GDP growth and with the educational sectors, government investments are increasing day by day. I hope and I am 100 per cent sure that this sector will continue to grow."
Market observers point to several reasons for the industry's growth -- rising literacy levels, an increase in English-speaking Indians, the sudden spurt in regional and national level literature festivals and the aggressive promotional techniques adopted to promote book sales.
The market is so bullish, more foreign publishers are investing millions of dollars to set up shop in India.
Tridip Chatterjee, secretary at the Publishers and Booksellers Guild, said: "(To produce) Indian books for the Indian market, so many multinational publishing companies have already started their own house, their own publishing unit in India.
“Like Random House, Elsevier, they have their own publishing hub in Noida, in Gurgoan because it's a huge market and the book market in India is expanding."
Experts believe the country's own publishing industry needs to work a lot harder to cash in on the current boom.
Dr Gupta said: "We need to have more book fairs and such events in each city -- towns, villages, everywhere."
Books have been man's best friend for several centuries, and despite threats from digitised mediums, it seems in India at least, it will take a while for anything to replace the crisp, printed, tightly bound book.
For the moment, this sentiment is keeping both publishing houses and book lovers happy.