The quick, pacy and low-priced reads by contemporary Indian authors have become a rage among the Ranchi youths. The book shop owners in the city admit that youngsters prefer a Chetan Bhagat and Ravindra Singh to a Richard Dawkins.
Teenagers can relate to the love stories set in metropolitans. Reshma Kumari, a second year student of Ranchi Women's College said, "I love reading Ravindra Singh. The climax of his novel, 'I Too had a Love Story' put me to tears".
Nonetheless, there are some who still swear by the foreign authors. Aryan (21) said, "I am buying a Nicolas Sparks book for my sister. I hope she appreciates my choice."
S K Jaiswal, owner of an old book store in Tharpakna, said: "The social networking sites have destroyed the habit of reading. The writers usually come up with hackneyed story plots that have clicked with the audience in the past".
Hindi translations of famous English novels are also popular here. Amish Tripathy's ?The Immortals of Meluha', translated to ?Meluha ke Mrityunjay' for the Hindi readers, have received good response.
Shop owner of a book store at Firayalal chowk, Pradeep Burman said, "Approximately 800 to 1000 copies of home-grown love stories sell every month. The readership comprises youth ranging between 16 and 22". He added, "Few youngsters, however, look for motivational books as well."
An MBA aspirant, Aman Dev said, "Most of the stories have associated plots and one gets tired of reading them after a certain point of time. The frenzy is common among the first generation English readers". Chetan Bhagat stories harp on similar storylines but as long as his book makes money, he gets to rule the market, he added.
The international bestsellers, mostly non-fictions, are still missing from the book shop racks. The National Book Trust (NBT) organizes book fairs every year but not much is done to develop reading habits among the youths of the city.