Nepal: From club to the crowd

The Nepal Literature Festival has come a long way from its humble beginnings, thanks to its organisers continuing to believe in their dream: The Kathmandu Post

In 2007, the Fine Print Book Club set up a small office in Baluwatar, where they conducted monthly interactive sessions for people who were into reading. Occasional interactions would be held on different subjects and book-lovers came together in small groups to talk about their book fetishes.

For Ajit Baral and Niraj Bhari, the brains behind the reading club, the goal lay farther than just running a book club. As publishers, they had one objective: to promote reading culture in Nepal.

“We had heard about literature festivals happening abroad. We had been in the publishing business for some time. But we wanted to do more with our book club,” recalls Ajit Baral. “The literature festival is a larger form of that initiation—with a bigger audience.”

Keen on learning how such events were organised, for five consecutive years, Baral and Bhari frequented the Jaipur Literary Festival religiously. Come January, and they would set off for the Indian city, going from session to session, listening to writers, making observations. They wanted to host a similar event in Nepal, but the fledgling publication house did not have the means to host a festival.

In early 2011, Ncell turned down a Fine Print proposal to sponsor an interactive trip for one of its newly launched books and proposed that they instead come up with a plan that supported a literary activity. Baral and Bhari knew exactly what they had to do. They submitted a proposal to host the Nepal Literature Festival.

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