At the Book Fair in Villupuram, e-books are the attraction thanks to V-GLUG

V-GLUG is also rigorously involved in creating free e-books in Tamil to facilitate easy access for the public
Book fair updates | (Pic: EdexLive)
Book fair updates | (Pic: EdexLive)

While the question of whether the old-school way of smelling and flipping through the pages of a book is better than going through an e-book will forever remain among bibliophiles, the members of V-GLUG (Villupuram GNU/Linux Users Group) vouch for the latter due to practical reasons.

The book-stall set up V-GLUG, which provides free access to over 40 Tamil e-books, is the centre of attraction of the second Book Fair going on in Villupuram from February 2, stated a report in The New Indian Express.

V-GLUG is a regional student empowerment organisation that renders free teaching of top software and computer language to rural students, especially those from government institutions. They have been operating in Villupuram for the past 12 years, and have a legacy of sending over 1,500 students to popular multi-national Information Technology (IT) companies.

V-GLUG is also rigorously involved in creating free e-books in Tamil to facilitate easy access for the public. So far, they have made a stack of 45 books under titles ranging from archaeology, politics, and non-fiction essays, to fictional works. Additionally, books related to computer technology are available with them.

"It was indeed a great opportunity to get a stall in the book fair so that we could introduce free e-book downloads to rural students in the region. As students are used to reading through mobile phones after the COVID-19 lockdown, it will be easier for them to read ebooks as well," said U Karkee, the organiser at V-GLUG. He also pointed out that it has an important financial impact on the students because the free e-books will cost when bought physically.

Karkee highlighted that the practice of reading e-books will invoke a habitual change among rural children. "They are usually engaged in watching social media, reels and playing games. We believe e-books will make a change in that habit, inducing the idea that phones can be used to read books."

In the last seven days of the book fair, at least 1,000 students have visited the stall with more than 2,000 books downloaded.

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