The response to the Colombo International Book Fair 2009 is fantastic and this is the best year in its 11-year history. There were over 250,000 visitors to the Fair in the first two days, said Vijitha Yapa, General Manager Lakshman Siriwardhana.
Over 80-90 percent of the visitors at the Fair were buyers and the crowds patronized every single stall at the Fair. There were 400 stalls, he said.
The significant feature of this year s Fair was that people came with their families and all were keen on purchasing books irrespective of their age groups. There was nothing to beat the crowd, he said.
Vijith Yapa offered a 20 percent discount on its books and people took advantage of it.
The price of our books ranged from Rs 200- 30,000 and there was a good demand, he said.
It is heartening to see people buying books. They were starved of knowledge and readership.
The price was not a deciding factor to gain knowledge and they purchased books freely, he said.
Generally we see crowds at musical and fashion shows and this was an exception. The ending of the war also would have contributed to the larger crowds, he said. Book Publishers Association Secretary Upali Wanigasuriya said that the response to the Fair was encouraging.
We had 600,000 visitors last year and we expect to surpass that number this year. This year will be the best compared to the past ten years.
We also provided facilities such as drinking water, food stalls and free transportation to selected destinations -Borella, Dematagoda and Thurstan Road for visitors and two shuttle bus services are also available, he said.