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The numbers of people listening to audio books, or those switching on a Kindle might be on the rise, but a strong tribe of readers who still like to hold a book, and sift through pages, continues to flourish. As many readers and publishers wonder about the future of books with the advent of e-books, publishers at the New Delhi World Book Fair are not just confident but are also encouraged by the number of book lovers thronging the Pragati Maidan grounds here. According to them, e-books and books cater to different markets and despite the growing number of e-book readers the older medium is still growing strong. "When e-books came into the market publishers were worried about the future of books and about finding buyers. But with time we realised it's just another medium and it has also helped us," Arun Maheshwari of Vani Prakashan told PTI. He said that e-books, audio books, hard bound or paperback all are distinct from each other and all of those have their own markets. Ashok Maheshwari of Rajkamal Prakashan said that people are still writing books because there is a continuous demand. Despite new mediums coming up, the old media retain their space, the sale does not get affected by it, he said. "The era of e-books and audio books will create its own space and market.
If somebody is walking or is in a hurry, they would want to listen to an audio book or read an e-book. And when they want to read at leisure they would switch to a book. There is no competition between the two," Ashok said. According to Baldev Bhai Sharma, chairman-National Book Trust, NBT sold 12 lakh books in last one year. He said that it was more important that people read, not what medium they choose to read on. The book fair will come to an end on January 14.
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