The 18th World Book Fair, the largest in the Afro-Asian region, showcasing books on youth and children kicked off in the Capital on Saturday.
The major attraction of the Book Fair is the presentation by Russia, which is the guest of honour country at the fair.
The other features of the fair are Youth Pavilion, Children Pavilion and the pavilion comprising books on and by Mahatma Gandhi.
While the Children pavilion will showcase everyday activities for and by children, the Youth Pavilion will conduct a variety of programmes for the youth.
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony, Sahitya Academy Award winner and eminent writer Prof U R Anantha Murthy said the books have romance with them and they also grow with the readers provided the reader is tolerant, curious and have a sense of patriotism.
"There are great writers and books in the languages that were not a part of mainstream. The languages need to be treated with respect. They need to be popular with masses," he said.
The Human Resources and Development Minister Arjun Singh, in a message, said "it is a cliché to say that books are man's best friend, but sometimes it is refreshing to repeat clichés because they carry the truths of life. The role of publishing industry coupled with the contribution of the writers, scientists, scholars etc is going to assume much greater significance," he said.