KARACHI: The city administration has decided to re-launch the Sunday Book Bazaar at Frere Hall (FH) from December 30.
The weekly event, to recommence after a lapse of more than a year, had emerged to be a strong cultural and literary activity for the inhabitants of the metropolis for quite some time.
Unfortunately, it had to be abandoned due to the deteriorating facilities provided to book sellers, who repeatedly complained of their inability to meet even their recurring expenditures while book enthusiasts were found dejected due to the absence of quality material at affordable rates.
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A meeting chaired by Karachi Commissioner Muhammad Iftikhar Shalwani and attended by all stakeholders agreed that 50 book sellers will be allowed to set up free of charge, makeshift stalls at the venue.
The Sunday Book Bazaar will also feature a coffee shop, along with stalls to be set up for edible items, with visitors and book sellers to share the responsibility of ensuring cleanliness of the lawns in close collaboration with the district administration.
The meeting was attended by representatives of writers, members of the civil society and book sellers, besides the National Book Foundation Coordinator Sultan Khalil, Treasurer of Anjuman-e-Tarraqi Urdu, Dr Fatema Hasan, educationist Huma Tahir, former municipal commissioner Shah Mahmood Syed and the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation’s Culture Director.
The stakeholders recommended that along with fresh prints, second-hand copies of publications of both fiction and non-fiction must be readily available at the site. Provision for a dedicated ‘Children’s Corner’ was also suggested to help inculcate reading habits among children. Cost-effective availability of story books, comics, magazines and textbooks must be made an essential component of the Book Bazaar, the meeting decided.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 25th, 2018.