International Kolkata Book Fair (in Bengali: আন্তর্জাতিক কলকাতা বইমেলা) initially started in 1976 with only 34 publishers. Eventually, it started to grow exponentially. Currently, the fair gets more than 2.5 million footfall every year. Likewise, it became an integral part of Kolkata and its culture. Many youngsters also come to the fair. People not only love to hop every stall, purchase books of their favorite author but also like to enjoy foods. Therefore many publishers prefer to release their books at the Book Fair.
Almost every book-stall will give a minimum 10% discount. Although, if you are familiar with college street, you may think to have a better discount there. Partially true, because some books either will not be available in college street soon or never. Similarly, magazines like Hangla and others give a very lucrative deal, you just can’t miss. I will suggest to check out bookstalls first, note down all the books. Then either contact college street shopkeepers or buy from the fair itself as per budget.
International Kolkata Book Fair Achievements
Official Video of IKBF - 2019
Brief History about Kolkata Book Fair
- 1974 – Some young publishers of Kolkata certainly decided to organize a commercial book fair like Frankfurt Book Fair to gather book lovers.
- 1975 – The Publishers & Booksellers Guild was formed. Sushil Mukherjea became its founder President while Jayant Manaktala, it’s first General Secretary.
- 1976 – On March 5, 1976, the first Book Fair was organized with 56 stalls of 34 publishers, at the ground beside Victoria Memorial. Surprisingly, the entry fee was 50 paisa then.
- 1983 – A prominent member of the Guild, Shri Asoke Ghosh, got the Kolkata Book Fair its international accreditation.
- 1988 – Once the Book Fair started to grow, it had to move to Maidan to accommodate more publishers.
- 1991 – The Fair started to have a focal theme every year like the Frankfurt book fair. Certainly, the first focal theme was based on Indian state Assam.
- 1997 – For the first time, the Book Fair focal theme was a foreign country, France.
- 2007 – A PIL (Public Interest Litigation) was filed against the fair at Maidan. As a result, the fair moved to Saltlake Stadium.
- 2008 – Again, a PIL was filed against the fair at Park Circus Maidan. Hence, the Guild decided to postpone the fair.
- 2009 – The 33rd International Kolkata Book Fair was organized at Milan Mela ground.
- 2010 – The executive committee decides to waive off the entry fee if a person purchased books more than INR 200.
- 2011 – State government gave Guild an NGO status, hence Guild made entry to the fair free.
- 2018 – Again due to renovation work, the Book Fair had to move Central Park, Saltlake. The focal theme was France.
- 2019 – The Theme Country was Guatemala. “Buy books and win a Book Library” the grand finale of the daily lottery also organized.
IKBF Country Theme (Till date)
Certainly, this year in the 44th International Kolkata Bookfair 2020, the theme country is Russia. Below is a brief list of past themes countries:
- 2019: Guatemala
- 2018: France
- 2017: Costa Rica
- 2016: Bolivia
- 2015: Great Britain
- 2014: Peru
- 2013: Bangladesh
- 2012: Italy
- 2011: USA
- 2010: Mexico
- 2009: Scotland
- 2007: Australia
- 2006: Spain
- 2005: France
- 2004: Chili
- 2003: Cuba
- 2002: Netherland
- 2001: India
- 2000: Brazil
- 1999: Bangladesh
- 1998: Great Britain
- 1997: France
- 1996: Bihar
- 1995: West Bengal
- 1994: Zimbabwe
- 1993: Orrisa
- 1992: Tripura
- 1991: Assam
Book Fair timing
- Date: 29th January 2020 – 9th February 2020
- Time: 12 PM – 8 PM
Kolkata Literature Festival will take place at Kolkata Book Fair for 3 days, February 6 to 8, 2020 from 1 PM to 9 PM.
Kolkata Book Fair Location
Since 2018, GUILD and concerned authorities are organizing Kolkata Book in Saltlake Central Park. Earlier, it used to locate at Milan Mela Ground.
How to Reach Kolkata Book Fair
Certainly, the book fair venue, Saltlake Central Park is easily accessible by bus from almost every corner of the city. In addition, each year the State Government allocate special buses from different part of the city. As a result, Special bus services will be available from Karunamoyee Bus stand between 3 PM to 9 PM. Below are the channel-wise routes this special bus service going to cover
- Sealdah (Shuttle), Mandirtala, Rajabazar
- Howrah (S-12, AC-59)
- Thakurpukur (S-16), Tollygunge Metro
- Jadavpur AC Bus (AC-9)
- Jadavpur (S-9)
- Parnashree (S-4), Sakuntala Park (S-22/46), Joka, Gariahat
- Garia (S-14), Kamalgazi, Baruipur
- Barasat (AC-36, ACT-4), Snatragachi (VS-12)
- Ultadanga (Shuttle)
- DumDum Station (AC-38), Barackpore (S-58)
- Bally Halt (Via Airport), Bally Halt (AC-23A, S-23A)
Shared auto services are also available from Ultadanga (INR 15) and different parts of Saltlake.
P.S. – Please confirm Bus no and fare before boarding to avoid further issues. Also, you can pay attention to the continuous announcements.
Kolkata Book Fair Gate themes (2020)
This year, entry gates are made based on wisdom, culture, architecture. Gate no 1, 2, 6, and 9 are Sampriti Gate, India Gate, Biswa Bangla Gate, and replica gate of Jorasanko Thakurbari. In addition, Gate no 5, the Theme Gate is the replica of Bolshoi Theatre of Russia.
- Like every year, paid parking is available. INR 20 & 30 for motorcycle and car respectively for every 2 hours.
- Ground Map guide will be given while you enter from any of the nine gates.
- Toilets are available almost every corner of the fair
- Popular food joints like Mio Amore, Bancharam, Goutam’s, etc available in the food court area.
- Mobile ATM counters are also available.
- You may sit and watch cultural programs near Jago Bangla stall, WBCPCR stall, etc.
Safety & Rules
- The Book Fair has adequate CCTVs.
- The concerned authority also deployed Man counting machines and scanners.
- Adequate fire tenders and fire fighting arrangements have been done.
- Certainly, smoking and littering inside the fair is strictly prohibited.
Kolkata Book Fair Book-stall List
- International Stalls list – Click here.
- List of Participants inside Hall – Click here.
- List of Participants at Open Ground – Click here.
P.S. Although, clicking these links will open google doc file (no sign-in required) where you can use the search/find option. Alternatively, the same information is available on the official website: Kolkatabookfair.net, Kolkata Book Fair 2020 Android App by CESC (downloadable from Play Store), and Ground Map plan also.
Important Events at IKBF 2020
- 30th January 2020 – Ashok Sarkar Memorial Lecture will be delivered by Vadim Polonsky. Same day Focal Theme, Russian Day will also be celebrated.
- 2nd February 2020 – Children’s Day will be celebrated in the fairground.
- 9th February 2020 – Bangladesh Day will be celebrated and The prize distribution ceremony will take place.
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