The International Kolkata Book Fair happens to be the biggest festival in the state after Durga Puja. The upcoming 47th International Kolkata Book Fair will be inaugurated on 18 January, and the fair will continue till 31 January 2024. The fair will be inaugurated by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of West Bengal Smt. Mamata Banerjee. Eminent poets, writers and other scholars will be present as guests of honour. Venue: Boi Mela Prangan, Salt Lake.
At the very outset, We are grateful to the various departments of West Bengal Government and Bidhannagar Municipality for their overall cooperation with the Book Fair.
You must have noticed that the International Kolkata Book Fair 2024 had to be brought forward by a few days. The main reason for this is that the central and state board exams are commencing from the end of January and the first week of February. We believe that this change in the dates of the fair has come as good news for book lovers, since they can avail of the additional holidays of 23 and 26 January apart from the 2 Saturdays and 2 Sundays to enjoy the fair.
As you know, currently the International Kolkata Book Fair is the world’s largest book festival. Twenty-six lakh book lovers came to the 2023 book fair, and the book sales amounted to Rs 25 crores. As happy as we are at this unbelievable success, we are also a bit worried. Because many new publishers have applied to participate in the upcoming book fair, but the size of the fair premises remains the same. Nonetheless, we are still planning on how to give space to more newcomers at the fair.
We are very happy that the focal theme country of the 47th International Kolkata Book Fair is the United Kingdom (UK), a country with which we have a close historical, cultural, and diplomatic relationship. Moreover, 2023-2024 marks the 75 years of the presence of the British Council in India. The British Council has been an integral part of the book fair for a very long. They played a major role in 1998 and 2015, like this year, when Great Britain was the theme country, and in 2009 when Scotland was the theme country.
Today, we have among us Mr. Andrew Fleming, British Deputy High Commissioner, East and North East India, and Dr Debanjan Chakrabarti, Director of British Council, East and North East India. We will hear from them about their participation as a focal theme in the book fair.
Like every year, countries like America, France, Italy, Spain, Thailand, Australia, Bangladesh, Peru, Argentina, Colombia etc. are participating in the upcoming book fair. Germany will participate after 12 years. Besides, there are publications of other states of India, such as Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Bihar, Assam, Jharkhand, Telangana, Kerala, Odisha, etc. As always, there will be Little Magazine Pavilion, Children’s Pavilion and other attractions too.
One of the highlights of the International Kolkata Book Fair, the three-day Kolkata Literature Festival, KLF, will be held from 26 to 28 January 2024.
We welcome everyone to the upcoming book festival.