Hyderabad: Various publishing houses in Andhra Pradesh have been seeing a decline in the readers buying books these days. The unhealthy trend has compelled them to muster support from the print and the electronic media to encourage people read books.
A seminar on ‘The role of media in encouraging book reading’ was held at The Hyderabad Book Fair on Wednesday, where the managements of various publishing houses in AP and senior journalists from the print and the electronic media deliberated on ways to impel people to read books. Vijay Kumar, Managing director of Emesco Publications, expressed the inability of publishing houses and authors of Telugu books in not being able to reach out to the general public.
Stressing the fact that it was the duty of media and publishing houses to provoke thoughts among the general public through their writings, he felt that the media should try to do more to promote good books by writing more about literature and publishing reviews in print media.
Electronic media also should cover various authors and throw light on their books, so that people would be interested to read their books. K Ramachandra Murthy, CEO, HMTV/The Hans India, said that books not only needed to create interest among the readers, but also needed to support the livelihood of the authors, which was somehow not happening in AP, as the kind of market for English books was far reaching than that for the books written in Telugu.
He felt that authors too needed to take risks and dedicate their time and efforts in writing good books which were acceptable to common public. He reminded everyone how authors like G Gupta, Gurucharan Das and Chetan Bhagat had quit their prestigious corporate jobs, as they had realised that their books were selling well. He expressed his displeasure about how even senior professors were not having newspapers or general books other than their subject books in their homes.
He suggested the publishing houses to identify experts in the field to review new books and then approach the media, which would be more than happy to promote the literature. He assured that 30 minutes programme to promote literature would be taken up by HMTV.
Ramarao, senior journalist, Eanadu daily, said that the problem was lying with the people who were losing book reading habit day by day. He pointed out that the newspapers were not encouraging reading habit in people and said that due to space constraints, no literature reviews, no criticism was being written in literature section in newspapers.
He said that the problem in present times was with people who didn’t have the habit of reading, but were writing in print media. Khadeer Babu, journalist, Saakshi Telugu daily, said that the current book distribution system was making it difficult for readers to access the books in their nearest locations, though authors were getting many calls from readers after book reviews were published in newspapers.
He felt that the newspapers needed to think about literature as a culture and tradition, rather than just a profit and loss matter. He praised the efforts of HMTV in running a programme titled ‘100 years of Telugu story,’ which has tried to inspire several readers.