Plans for a Book Town in Maharashtra

Maharashtra is planning to promote a new “town of books”. Sandeep A Ashar shares more about this proposal on The Indian Express.
At a time when traditional book stores are shutting down in the face of competition from online stores, Maharashtra is planning to promote a new “town of books” on the lines of the Welsh town of Hay-on-Wye, famous for its book stores and literary festivals.
The proposed book town in the state will be close to popular tourist destinations such as Mahabaleshwar or Ganapatipule.
The proposal, currently in its early stages, envisages identifying a town that can boast of bookstores with a vast and rich literary collection and which can attract both writers and readers.
State’s Cultural Affairs Minister Vinod Tawde, who had recently visited the Welsh town, said that for branding this initiative, the state government would host a week-long literary festival every summer. “We will invite famous authors and novelists to interact with children and lovers of literary works,” he said during a discussion in the state Assembly.
Tawde said the book town would have a minimum collection of 5 lakh books, including works of international authors.
Literary tourism has caught up in a big way in European countries.

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