There were times , when we used to read a book & were happy to know just the name of its author. Which country or city did the author lived in , was an add on information. And how he / she looks was almost like one of those difficult questions in a quiz contest.
But today the times have changed.Just look around and you will have access either to a book launch or a literature festival in your city. Last month we were part of one such grand celebration. Heard about a few more.
And even better , if you are in a college or work for a large corporate , you might also have one of the author visiting you and speaking about his / her new release book. And how their lives changed after they got published & how they left their jobs or try and balance both and write 2 to 3 books a year! And if you have a blog & start reviewing books on it , just keep doing so for few months & you will be showered with the latest releases from best of the publishers to the most non nondescript authors.
There are a lot of people who look down upon this phenomena of making literature so accessible. Selling & promoting books & their authors like a ‘product’ or a ‘brand’. A massy vs classy books debate often crops up and people start claiming custody of literature and share judgement about the Indian writing in English. Things like , ‘Oh ! this author just murdered the English language’ & ‘Shakespere will jump out of his grave’ ! And the debate continues………
This weekend the Capital city Delhi is hosting a Literature Festival. This line from their website instantly struck a chord.
“We are the bridge between the ivory tower and the town square, between the lofty and the hig-brow and the vox populi.The Times Lit Fest, a celebration of the times and India”