By a quirk of fate this is the second annual Hyderabad Book Fair this year, after the 31st Hyderabad Book Fair, scheduled for December 2017, has to be postponed until January of this year.

The 32nd incarnation, which opened December 15, gets the event back to its regular end of year schedule.

Hyderabad Book Fair president Juluri Gouri Shankar said,

The craze for books among people is increasing every year. This year we have set up more than 320 stalls.

Is Shankar worried by the rise of ebooks? Not at all.

Reading books online is increasing every year, but it doesn’t have any effect on book sales. When you are reading online, you don’t get the feeling of having a book on your hands. We need more Telugu book critics to improve our literature and to take it to the global stage.

Hyderabad Book Fair secretary K. Chandramohan reported 35,000 turned out for the first day but that 100,000 a day were expected thereafter, to hit 10 lakh (one million) by Christmas Day close.

Reports are sparse and it’s unclear as yet if that ambition is on target, but this weekend is expected to see a surge in attendance.