LAHORE - The book fair at the Government College University Monday received a very warm response from students and teachers and according to the university’s Library Society statistics, more than 5,700 books were sold at the opening day.

Vice Chancellor Dr Khaleequr Rahman inaugurated the three-day book fair offering up to 50 per cent discounts on books, while eminent writer Intizar Hussian, noted critic Prof Khawaja Zakariya and Canadian forensic expert Prof Dr Harpal S Buttar were also present at the opening ceremony as guest of honors.

Talking to media, Prof Rahman said books didn’t lose their significance even in the age of information and communication technologies. “Books in hard form leave ever lasting impressions on the minds of the readers. The vision and knowledge you get by reading books; you can never have it by just reading reviews and summaries on the internet,” he added.

The vice chancellor shared his personal experience that he never enjoyed reading book on a cell phone or computer. He hoped that the book fair would flourish reading culture among students.  

Prof Rahman personally requested each publisher to increase discount on books; keeping in view that those who are buying are ‘students’. He also directed the academic departments to purchase latest books on their subjects concerned from the Book Fair, and made them available to the students and teachers. The Vice Chancellor also purchased books on the subjects related to Islam, literature and physics for his personal collection.

Addressing the opening ceremony, GCU Chief Librarian Abdul Waheed said that the book fair had brought more than 0.25 million books of science, religion, literature, art and culture under one-roof. He said more than 45 international and national publishers had set up stalls at the Book Fair in the university’s Oval ground.  

Talking to media, Ahsan Nawaz, a publisher, said that they had been coming to the GCU Book Fair for the last three years, but this year response from students and teachers was much better and encouraging as compared to the last year. He said that their real buyers were the students who were preparing for CSS, PMS and PCS examinations. However, he said, that they were expecting more response from students in the next two days. He said students had become intelligent enough as they first read reviews about various books on internet and then purchased them.

Shahbaz Ahmed, another publisher, said that they were offering the best price at the GCU Book Fair.

GCU Library Society President Muhammad Rizwan said “the visiting Book Fair is an excellent experience even if you don’t have a temptation to buy books. It makes you aware about the latest books available on various topics," he added.

Zila Huma, a BSc (Hons) student, said that book fairs should held in universities at least thrice a year because it was very difficult for female students to spend hours in Urdu Bazar for purchasing books. “Here at university’s Book Fair, we can spend even a full day in choosing books of our interests,” she added. The Book Fair will remain open till the closing ceremony on October 29, 2014 at 5pm.