Every day we go to the Kolkata Book Fair, and every day it is crowded. It is, after all, the largest book fair in Asia, and it is easy to believe the claim that it has the largest attendance of any book fair in the world.
On a typical day at the book fair there are an average of 150,000 book lovers browsing through the myriad books on display at the 940 stalls, and on the weekends the crowds swell to in excess of a quarter of a million people. Last year, 2,600,000 people attended the twelve-day book fair!
Such a huge number of book lovers would be almost inconceivable at a book fair anywhere in the United States, unless, of course, such a fair included an amusement parks, video arcades, fast food stands, and maybe a casino :-)
Our Sri Chaitanya Saraswat Math stall at the fair gets an overwhelming amount of traffic. Every day, thousands of people crowd into our tiny bookstall, searching for knowledge, searching for books on how to optimally exploit the environment and other living entities within this world, and instead get exposed to a transcendental world of dedication.
Books! They can transport you to another world, and the books of our acharyas, our gurus, do just that. Stepping into our bookstall is like stepping in to another world — an alternative reality — a world of dedication far, far beyond this present world of exploitation.