ISTANBUL, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- A book fair kicked off on Friday at a prestigious performance hall in Istanbul with a view to reaching young readers.
The so-called New Generation Book Fair is organized by the private NAP company at the Zorlu Performance Center, a venue popular with young people in the upscale Levent neighborhood.
"We wanted to organize the fair at a civilized location at the heart of the city to be close to young readers," Hakan Demir, NAP's general coordinator, told reporters at a press conference.
For almost 20 years, book fairs in Istanbul have been organized at the TUYAP Fair Convention and Congress Center located in a remote district of the city.
"As we wanted to approach more students, we chose the Zorlu Center located in an area filled with both private and public schools and universities," Demir said, noting students can visit the book fair during lunch break and come back after their classes are over in the afternoon.
The fair is drawing 135 publishing houses and more than 130 writers, with over 220 workshops, concerts and seminars scheduled during the event that runs until Jan. 20.
Erdeniz Turkmen, a sales manager with the HEP publishing house, said the publishers are having a different and unique experience with the fair.
"As publishers, we always want to keep away from dusty areas and join activities in more elegant venues, and it is the first time this is happening in Istanbul," he told Xinhua.
"It is very easy to get here, as you have all kinds of transportation facilities," he said, adding Zorlu's studios and salons are also very classy.
The books appearing at the fair are selected to appeal to young readers' tastes in the best possible way.
The shelves of most publishing houses are packed with novels, non-fiction books, and books on history and research.
For students, the entrance fee is 7.5 Turkish liras, or 1.38 U.S. dollars, much lower than the average costs across the country, according to the organizer.
The publishing houses are offering a 30-percent discount for their books, a notable offer in terms of high paper prices in the country.
The organizer is planning to expand the fair in the upcoming years to have publishing houses and writers from other countries, mostly from the far east part of the world.