Colombo, September 11 (Harmony Page / DailyFT): The Read Plus Foundation will be holding Sri Lanka’s first virtual book fair from 15 to 30 September 2021. Thousands of books in all three official languages of Sri Lanka; Sinhala, Tamil and English, will be made available for all Sri Lankans.
The Read Plus Foundation is a consortium of 15 leading publishing houses in Sri Lanka. Over the past three years, the members of the Foundation have been committed to expanding and exploring the publishing industry, engaging in various reading activities and promoting literature in Sri Lanka and abroad.
One of its key goals is to promote Sri Lankan writers writing in Sinhala, Tamil and English, locally and enable translations of these writings to promote them internationally. Online book launches will be held throughout the virtual book fair.
The 2021 Read Plus Virtual Book Fair is collaborating with ThriBasha, a Sri Lankan entity that promotes knowledge and reading in all three languages and works with promoting self-published writers especially in rural areas of the country. ThriBasha shares the vision of Read Plus in using literacy as a uniting element for Sri Lankan nation building and national unity.
Held in collaboration with Tribasha, special events will be organized ranging from debates and discussions on the concepts on knowledge, national heritage, arts and sciences and environment protection. A separate set of internationally represented events will be organized by Read Plus and its local and international partners that will include talks by diverse subject experts, webinars, professional debates, discussions, various literary programs and competitions for children and adults.
Dinesh Kulatunga, a veteran publisher and the founder of Read Plus expects the event to attract Sri Lankans throughout the country.
“Read Plus is committed to proliferating knowledge. Hence what we will be carrying out at this book fair is well beyond merely selling books. As a publisher this has always been my philosophy that books are not general merchandise and we do not operate for the sole purpose of making profit,” Kulatunga says.
He is also owner of Neptune Publications which specializes in publishing Sri Lankan heritage-based themes alongside many other local and international cultural themes.
“Although postponed due to the pandemic, arrangements are currently being made to hold a specifically focused children’s book festival next year,” Kulatunga states.
The Virtual Book Fair will feature veteran writers and artists who will be reading from their works.
There will also be a series of writing workshops in Sinhala, Tamil and English. The virtual book fair will feature both local and international authors.
A number of international book fair organizations, including the Frankfurt International Book Fair, and the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY) are associated with the local and international book festivals of Read Plus.