The Kolkata Book Fair: Festival of Booklovers

Kaustav Ghosh

“With the United States as the ‘Theme Country’ this year, the Consulate along with other organizations will work to bring a range of great programs, with prominent authors, artists, and academics. We will have a full schedule of events throughout the Fair time to highlight the life, cultureliterature and arts of the United States. The Kolkata-based American Library will provide a display of some of its many books, periodicals and electronic media that are available for students, academics, or anyone wanting access to the Library’s collection. Also, our office of the US Educational Foundation in India (USEFI) will conduct programs for prospective students interested in studying in the United States. USEFI has done such an impressive job over the last few years in promoting United States schools and universities that Indian students now represent the largest number of foreign students in the United StatesSPAN Magazine, which is a popular source of information on the close Indo-US relationship, will also have representatives present and a display to highlight its more fascinating articles about shared Indian and American experiences.”

-Henry V Jardine, the United States Consul General in Kolkata (2008)

Bengalis are known for their art, culture, writing and what not. From childhood they will learn singing, dancing or both; some prefers drawing/ painting. At least 90 % of bengalis have wrote either poetry or story once in their life. It is in our blood, in our tradition. Bengali as a race lives in various nation won noble prizes- Rabindranath Tagore, Amartya Sen, Abhijit Banerjee have routes in India and Md. Younus is from Bangladesh. But all are bengalis. Not only that Sir Ronald Ross, St. Mother Teresa, C.V.Raman who won the noble prizes has their deep connection with Kolkata.

Do you know that Dr Abdus Salam who born at Jhang, the then BritIsh India, now at Pakistan won the noble prize for his contribution to physics. Before Malala Yousufzai, he was the only one pakistani who won the noble prize. Even he have Kolkata collection. After he won the noble prize, came to kolkata to meet his guru, his teacher Anilendra Ganguly. He said-“Sir, this Nobel Prize is the result of your love for learning and mathematics that you instilled in me. Sir, this is your noble, not mine.1

This is the heritage of Kolkata and Bengal. Bengalis are also known as bookworm, so we had to start something different to tribute this affinity. World Book fair started in 1972 at New Delhi, we took the inspiration from its success. The International Kolkata Book Fair (formerly Calcutta Book Fair) is a winter fair in Kolkata. It is a unique book fair in the sense of not being a trade fare—the book fair is primarily for the general public rather than whole-sale distributors. It is the world’s largest non-trade book fair, Asia’s largest book fair and the most attended book fair.2 The Kolkata Book Fair attracts a lot of people looking for free propaganda and idea promotion. The fair does have its share of fair and useful propaganda, and relief fund raisers, along the lines of the Frankfurt Book Fair protest movement against the official German spelling reforms. The 46th edition of International Kolkata Book fair will be held at Boimela Prangon, Central Park Mela Ground, Karunamoyee, Saltlake, near Kolkata Airport. This mela ground is well connected by bus, train, auto and metro. I hope that once in your life my viewers will definitely visit this book fare. This years focal theme is spain. Here is the list of the year and its respective focal theme.

1995West Bengal
1998Great Britain
2008United States (**Fair Postponed)
2011United States
2015Great Britain
2017Costa Rica
2021Cancel for covid19

Here is another interesting fact to note, bengalis are the mostly foodie. The live, die and earn for eating good food. In any bengali family, a normal day lunch and/or dinner will be atleast five to seven course meal. Kolkata Book fare offers many stall with a quality and delicious food. It is not only an International book fair but also you can definitely say International food fair.

Here I am sharing my visit to KBF 2022-

Many celebrities, VIP, VVIP visits regularly-

Now I am sharing my previous years collection from KBF, 2022

See you at Kolkata Book fair@ 2023. Remember the date-31st January 2023 to 12th February, 2023.




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