ISLAMABAD (APP)- Sales of National Book Foundation (NBF) have shown an unprecedented surge over the years, falsifying the notion that reading habit is dying due to the television and internet explosion. The buying of books by the general public in exhibitions and schemes launched by the National Book Foundation for developing book reading habits is going up every year, according to NBF. An NBF official told APP that one month-long annual book exhibition, launched simultaneously in 18 cities of the country, including Rawalpindi, Lahore, Peshawar, Wah Cantonment, Multan, Hyderabad, Larkana, Nawab Shah, Faisalabad and Karachi was attracting a large number of booklovers everyday. The exhibition will end on 8th of December. Hundreds of books on Islam, medical, engineering, law, science, literature and culture have been put on display at the exhibition, where textbooks and imported notebooks are also available at special discount. The exhibition also contains Braille books, which the foundation provides free of cost to blind persons. Similarly, gazette and other government publications are also available at the exhibition. "This year the NBF has set a target to sell books amounting to Rs 250 million through this exhibition and other schemes as compared to last year's Rs 222.70 million," the foundation's spokesman Tariq Naeem said. He expressed the hope that NBF would achieve the set target, thus breaking all the previous records. The proverbs like 'books are the best presents to give' or 'books are good companions ' become very much true when one visits the exhibitions or book fairs organized by the organizations like NBF. People of all age groups can be seen here purchasing books, which are both cheaper and utilitarian. "The book exhibitions are the best source in helping people to find a big variety of books of their interest at a single place," remarked a middle-aged man while selecting a book from a stall of NBF's exhibition at its Headquarters in Islamabad. He said collecting good books was his hobby and what a good place it could be than an exhibition where there is a big variety of books, available at affordable rates. Musarrat Sultana, a student of BA said that she was very found of books and she waited for the whole year for NBF's book exhibition. "These exhibitions are proving a good source for quenching the thirst of booklovers," she commented. Arif Hashmi, a lecturer in OPF college in Islamabad did not agree with the view that the revolution in technology, particularly emergence of TV channels and internet has dented upon the book and newspaper reading habits. "Though you can have e-versions of newspapers and online access to books, but these are not a substitute of printed words in any way," he said. "The printed word has its own advantage. You can enjoy a book or newspapers wherever you are. But you can't do that while sitting before an internet," remarked another man at the exhibition. He said reading books was still a great 'brain tool', as it help earn and develop important life skills, in terms of education, self improvement and all round well-being. An old man, who had come at the exhibitions with his grandchildren, expressed the view that writing material had no substitute and suggested that grandparents should read books in front of children to develop habits of reading books within them. "Mothers can also tell stories to little kids from baby books for this purpose," he added.