Chetan Bhagat Image Credit: SIBF

Sharjah: Fans of Indian author Chetan Bhagat were treated to a suspense movie-style promo of his new book ‘Girl in Room 105’ at Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) on Friday.

More than 1,000 fans attended Bhagat’s interactive session named after the book, with the ‘trailer’ leaving the audience wanting more.

“People will love the suspense and humour in the book. This is a thriller, but a funny kind of thriller,” Bhagat, 44, told SIBF visitors.

The author is one of India’s bestselling novelists known for writing stories about young urban middle class Indians. This latest work is an “unlove” story about a man who visits his ex-girlfriend in her hostel room after some years — a decision that changed his life.

Almost every work of Bhagat has been adapted to the big screen. Upon being asked about why he went a step ahead this time to promoting it through a film-style video, he said: “The idea behind releasing a film-style promo for the book came to me because I was trying to capture young imaginations. Since youngsters love videos, my hope is that this one will bring them back to books.”

He brought up an interesting quirk about naming his books. “All my books have a numeric element. Five Point Someone, Two States, One Indian Girl, and now my latest book Girl in Room 105 all have a numeric aspect. This is not because I am superstitious, it happens because even though I may have taken up writing full-time, I am still a numbers man.”

Before he left, Bhagat stressed the importance of reading and inspired the youth in attendance to take their formative years seriously by dedicating themselves to enhancing their skills and finding their passions. He told them to strike a balance between work and fun.

Shaikh Sultan allocates Dh4.5 million for libraries

In line with his ongoing efforts aimed at supporting the book industry, His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, has allocated Dh4.5 million for purchasing new books from publishing houses that are participating at the 37th edition of Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF). The move aims to provide public and government libraries, across the emirate of Sharjah, with the latest Arabic and international books.

The initiative gives libraries access to the latest books on history, literature, politics and arts, which are published by a host of Arab and international publishers. Sharjah’s libraries are vital referential centres for researchers, intellectuals, experts, school and university students and all those interested in literature and culture in the Emirate of Sharjah and the UAE.