• Monday, August 08, 2022

The Kolkata Book Fair serves as a delight for book lovers

on Mar 01, 2022

The 45th edition of the Kolkata Book Fair was commenced on Monday, 28th February. The much-awaited event gave relief to emerging publishers and is a big delight for lovers of the printed world who still love buying their books over the counter and prefer flipping pages instead of scrolling on a kindle. Bangladesh is the theme country of the fair where around 50 publishers are participating. 

The fair was inaugurated by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and it will continue till March 13th. It was previously held two years back from January 31 to February 9. It is being held after a gap of little over two years so the book lovers had been deprived of it. They finally are witnessing the delightful event after waiting for it. 

“It’s always a pleasure to meet new readers, especially when they are curious to know about our new releases. It’s even more rewarding when somebody from a distant location comes to pick up a few books they want to buy but could not order online due to delivery issues. In 2020, we were acknowledged as the best small stall and the footfall had enhanced overnight,” said Bitan Chakraborty, Founder of Hawakal Publishers and a writer himself, as he assumed his position at the stall.

Being held at the Central Park Grounds in Salt Lake City, the 45th edition of the fair features 600 stalls, 200 little magazines, and 20 countries. 

“The book fair strikes an emotional chord with the city. I have been attending it since my school days, when it used to be held in the Maidan. I remember the lump in my throat when I saw the fire [at the venue] in 1997. I am so glad that it is finally being held after a gap of two years. The only thing I want changed is its loudness. Bookworms should be able to hear a writer clearing his throat,” said IPS officer Dyutiman Bhattacharya, who is posted as a Deputy Commissioner of Police in Howrah and is also a passionate cartoonist.

“It was a yearly ritual when I was growing up, first with parents and then with friends. Initially, it was Feluda and Byomkesh, then Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie. Even if the queues were long, one endured it because of books, food, and friends. Many new Indian writers are now on the scene. In fact, a few of my contacts are now writers and their books will be released during the fair; I am so looking forward to visiting those stalls,” said the Jamaica-based Dr. Mandal, an associate professor at the University of West Indies.

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