Today, given a chance I would have dedicated every rose and all the heart-shaped balloons fluttering in the air to the books. Coincidentally, the 27th International Book Fair at Lahore opened on February 14- the day when most parts of the world are drenched with the notion of expressing love. Publishers and booksellers from all over Pakistan as well as USA, UK, Singapore, Turkey, Germany and India are taking part in this five-day event.
The Expo Centre, Johar Town (Lahore) allured readers of Lahore through its elegance. Hall number 1 and 2 seemed not less than an endless sea of books in which visitors swayed with gleaming eyes. An attractive yet decent outlook of the stalls enhanced the ‘book savvy’ air. However, it was not pleasant to see a negligible number young readers. On the other hand, the older generation was quite zealous. Wrinkled faces gleamed with awe and struggled to pile books on their fragile hands. Nevertheless, their spirits were robust and so was their love for books. It looked like a festival being celebrated to instil never-ending love for books.
Approximately 150 million Valentine’s Day cards are exchanged annually, making Valentine’s Day the second most popular card-sending holiday after Christmas. Relishing the perks of 27th Annual International Book Fair 2013, at Lahore made me think that what if we can make an exchange of books. Someone might argue that we already have a ‘World Book Day‘, but presenting the book as a token of love has an altogether different impact.
As Abraham Lincoln said: “My best friend is the person who would give me a book that I haven’t read”.