41st International Kolkata Book Fair starts rolling

Kolkata, Jan 25 (IANS) The 41st edition of International Kolkata Book Fair, considered the world’s largest exhibition in terms of footfall, opened on Wednesday at the Milan Mela Ground here amid the presence of a galaxy of authors, book lovers and cultural personalities.

Noted Costa Rican author Roxana Pinto Lopez inaugurated the 12-day fair in the traditional style by striking the gong with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee by her side.

Organised by the Publishers and Booksellers Guild, the fair would end on February 5. Costa Rica is the focal theme country this year.

Banerjee in her speech called the IKBF “an inseparable part of Bengal’s culture”.

“I congratulate the organisers of the International Kolkata Book Fair for bringing the world to Bengal’s doorstep year after year through this festival of books. The Book Fair for us is an emotion. This festival is like an inseparable part of us. We cannot live without books,” Banerjee said at the event where six of her new books were also released.

“The Book Fair is close to our heart and it is for everyone. My special thanks to Costa Rica and their city embassy for their participation in this years book fair,” she added.

To celebrate 70 years of diplomatic ties between Russia and India, the nation has been declared a special participant. In total 29 foreign countries, including from Latin America, is being showcased.

Nearly 600 publishers from India and abroad are taking part.

The fair is set to cover a wide range of fiction, non-fiction, and academic books, besides, children’s literature, classics and other categories of publications including digital innovations.

Famous Bengali poet Nirendranath Chakraborty, General Secretary of Publishers and Booksellers Guild Tridib Chatterjee and several state ministers were also present at the occasion.