International Kolkata Book Fair: Much more than books

Kolkata Book Fair

Have you planned a visit to the Kolkata International Book Fair? It is world’s most visited Book Fair and the third largest annual conglomeration of books,which over time has become an integral of bookaholic Bong culture. This year, Costa Rica (literally meaning “Rich Coast”), the Central American paradise well known for its intellectual minds, would be the country in focus.

Kolkata Book Fair stalls

The 41st Kolkata Book Fair, will be an elaborate show, like all years. During this fair, the Milan Mela Grounds will be dotted with about 500 Indian stalls and 17 international stalls. Stalls from nations such as Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, Ecuador, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Guatemala, Great Britain, USA, Japan, France among others, will add an extra charm to the fair.

  • Dates: January 25-February 5, 2017
  • Venue: Milan Mela Grounds near EM Bypass (opposite Kolkata Science City)

Highlights of Kolkata Literature Festival

Kolkata Literature Festival

Apart from visiting more than 500 book stalls and plenty of food stalls laid out during this fair, there is also a line of exciting programs that would be organized as a part of the Kolkata Literature Festival. Some of these include:

50 Films that changed Bollywood (Panel Discussion)

  • Date: February 2
  • Timings: 2 PM – 2:45 PM
  • Panelists: Aparna Sen, Sandip Ray, Qaushiq Mukherjee, Srijit Mukherjee and Shubhra Gupta

The Film: Tea Leaves (Film Screening & Panel Discussion)

  • Date: February 2
  • Timings: 5 PM – 5:30 PM
  • Description: This is a short film on Bengali comedy.
  • Panelists: Leading comedy actors of Bengal.

Vernacular Life of English (Panel Discussion)

  • Date: February 2
  • Timings: 5:30 PM – 6:15 PM
  • Panelists: Saikat Mazumdar, Sabyasachi Chakraborty, Arunava Sinha and Sandip Ray

Classical Music Performance

  • Date: February 2
  • Timings: 7 PM – 7:45 PM
  • Performer: Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty

Performing Poetry

  • Date: February 3
  • Timings: 6:30 PM – 6:45 PM
  • Panelists: Subodh Sarkar, Neal Hall and Debojyoti Mishra

Folk Songs Performance

  • Date: February 3
  • Timings: 8 PM – 8:45 PM
  • Performer: Dohar

Dance Performance

  • Date: February 4
  • Timings: 5:30 PM – 6:15 PM
  • Performers: Diksha Manjari group headed by Dona Ganguly

Hindi Session (Panel Discussion)

  • Date: February 4
  • Timings: 6:30 PM – 6:45 PM
  • Moderator: Yatindra Mishra

Chetan Bhagat up Close and Personal

  • Date: February 4
  • Timings: 8 PM – 8:45 PM
  • Panelists: Chetan Bhagat and Monideepa Banerjie

Part of Fair culture

Over the years International Kolkata Book Fair (IKBF) has become an integral part of the Bong culture. The book loving Kolkatans await for this with much anticipation. And when the fair starts, the fun is not centred solely around seeing, buying and reading books. So, here are some unusual activities that visitors to IKBF enjoy:

Kolkata Book Fair

Food Hub: Known largely for book stalls, there are extensive food stalls for the visitors. There are food stalls for every culinary choice – ranging from Chinese, Mughlai to snacks stalls. When families visit the fair, they spend a significant time having some good food.

Meeting Point: The fair is visited by millions. In this extensive conglomeration of people, many find their long disconnected friends or relatives. What follows is not only a courteous exchange of words, but also roaming the fair cherishing long forgotten memories.

Kolkata Book Fair

Socializing Base: Adda is the favorite pastime of Bongs and they engage in idle chit-chat whenever there is a scope for it. So, empty spaces in the Mela ground are taken up by groups who sit there talking for hours and explore the rest of the stalls only when their discussions are over (after hours). As the temperature is low, the sunny spots on the ground are hard to find real estate!

Learning Ground: Bongs know their books and publishers. Every person visiting the fair has a particular must-do plan in mind. They would cover some of their favorite publications. But then stalls of big publications always have long queues, so the plans have to be changed very quickly. Some have to be let go for a later visit. Collecting leaflets and catalogs from publishers is also an important activity for book lovers.

So, enjoy your time under the winter sun at the Kolkata Book fair.


ALSO READ: Jaipur Literature Festival, Heritage Ghats of Kolkata


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here