Out of India

We tend to be English-language centric around here, and this post doesn’t change that – but an opinion piece in today’s Sydney Morning Herald suggests that the other emerging giant (not the one with the Olympics) suffers the same fate book-wise as its English-speaking peers. From India, Amrit Dhillon looks at the book scene and explores some ideas for making books more attractive to the Indian public. But not before lamenting the state of things:

Bill Bryson once wrote: “We used to build civilisations. Now we build shopping malls.” In a country where hundreds of shopping malls are popping up as fast as a jack-in-the-box, only a few have bookshops. Why flog something no one wants? So weak is the reading habit among the Indian middle-class that publishers exult hysterically if a book sells 5000 copies, hailing it a “bestseller”.

Sound familiar?

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