By Indian standards a quarter million visitors to a book festival is actually not that amazing. Some Indian book fairs can attract eight times that figure.
But this was only the third incarnation of the Kerala Literature Festival and I’ve been eagerly awaiting the final visitor count, which comes this week via the bi-monthly Indian trade journal All About Book Publishing.
Check out the OP for more about the Kerala event.
Here just to note this is yet another example of the huge interest in India in all things book that is happening outside the mainstream bookstore and online print and ebook store world we in the west take for granted as the only places where book sales happen.
And a reminder that, while 260,000 visitors to a book festival in India may not be headline news, in the west that’s a figure rarely seem.
The USA’s flagship Washington Book Festival set a new record last September with 200,000 visitors.
In India the same month as Kerala, the Zee Jaipur Literary Festival puled in a crowd of 400,000, while the New Delhi World Book Fair attracted 900,000.
UPDATE: Since this post was written the Kerala organisers have adjusted their final visitor count to 275,000.