Book launches/releases are going 5 Star these days in Chennai and some of them are taking the format of conversations/interactions with the author. Most of the events are followed by cocktails which have no interest to teetotalers like some of us whose attraction is to the book as well as an insight into the author’s mind, which again depends a lot on with whom he/she is in conversation with. It is not a tall order to expect both to be equally articulate to keep the conversation informative, lively and interesting to the audience. Even if one of them is not so, the event is likely to fall flat like a deflated balloon.
The venue chosen for the events may not match the kind of book that is written, for instance a book focusing on the impoverished people of India launched at a posh hotel appears a little ironical and serving cocktails makes it worse especially if the organizers don’t make it mandatory that only people with invitations should attend. There have been instances where some people turn up just to clear the bowl of nuts that accompany their drinks and clear out the moment they are done, that is if cocktails precede the event! There are a few others who sit through silently sipping their drink but not so while munching the variety of nuts served.
I wonder why the hosts cannot defer serving cocktails, (if they must) till the literary part is over leaving genuinely interested audience to concentrate on the book being discussed.
n.meera raghavendra rao