- For perspective: the United Kingdom is a country with a population of over 7 crores (70 millions) – a little more than that of Gujarat – but has over 300 major literature festivals held every year. Compare: GLF was the first one in Gujarat.
- In India, literature or literary festivals are a relatively new concept. They are spread over a few days at a specific venue in a city and are mostly centered around authors and their works.
- Usually, lit-fests focus on latest books and other forms of writings. The objective of such events is to popularise books and promote their sales, by discussing newly published books with authors themselves and other subject experts.
- According to industry estimates, the size of Indian book publishing industry is Rs 35,000 crore. This is more than the size of the Bollywood film industry and the newspaper industry put together! Of this, 70% is educational publishing. Of the balance 30% of published books- over 45% in value terms are books in Indian regional languages. Interestingly, Hindi is 35% of this pie. By numbers, it outstrips English books.
- Entry to most of the lit fests is usually free in India, following registrations. However, access to some events within the festival is not free.
- However, the scope of ‘literature’ is much wider than just books. GLF is perhaps the only lit-fest that is exploring the whole gamut of literary creativity, irrespective of medium and language.