'This year we have about 682 stalls spanning across an area of 200000 square feet. We expect over 10 lakh titles and few crores of books in the expo. The books will be uniformly displayed in Tamil, English, regional and foreign languages and a special area is also allocated for multimedia stalls. The participants are from across the nation and an uniform discount of 10 per cent has been declared by BAPASI,' said Shanmugam.
During the fair, a variety of cultural programmes involving eminent speakers and other dignitaries will be organised. Former President of India A P J Abdul Kalam will be addressing the gathering on 8 January.
Oratorical competition will be held for school students on 9 January at Chettinad Vidyasharamam and on 12 January at Queen Mary's College for college students, drawing competition will be held at the book fair venue on 10 January from 8 am onwards.
Shanmugam also informed that 35th Book Fair Awards under various categories will be given to Murugan of Madras University (translator),
R Ponnammal (child author), Palam Kalyana Sundaram (librarian), Sekar Pathippagam (best publisher) and Thirumalai Book House (best book seller).
Blood Bank is also being organised at the fair with support from Lions Club. Courier service is also being setup so that purchasers can courier the books. Wheelchairs for specially abled have also been arranged at the fair with the help of Billroth Hospital. A lucky draw will also be held at the exhibition where people can fill the counterfoil and drop them in the box and winners will be selected by lot and books worth Rs 3,000, Rs 2,000 and Rs 1,000 will be given for first, second and third prizes respectively on all days of the book fair.
The timings for the book fair - 3 pm to 9 pm on working days and 11 am to 9 pm on weekends and holidays. The entry ticket is Rs 5 per person and entry is free for school children upto junior level.