Monday, January 30, 2012

Kolkata Book Fair : A monochrome tour -- Joy

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The Kolkata Book fair is a unique book fair held in Kolkata, West Bengal, every year, during

the winter season. It is unique in the sense as it the world’s largest non-trade book-fair. The fair is mainly targeted to general public rather than the wholesalers. It is also the world’s largest non-trade book fair, Asia’s largest book fair and the most attended book fair in the world. It is the world’s third largest annual conglomeration of books after the Frankfurt Book Fair and
the London Book Fair.

The Book fair started in the year of 1976 by the Kolkata Publishers’ and Booksellers’ Guild. Over the years visitors have increased and now it exceeds more than a million. The fair always starts on last Wednesday of January and ends on the first or second Sunday of February (so that the duration of the fair is always 12 days).

The fair not only host stalls for the book-sellers or publishers but also for the artists and little magazines. A complete separate place, called “Montmartre”, is arranged for the artists inside the fair premises. Here many artists sit together, work and display their work for sale. Also a complete separate section, within the fair premises, is allotted for the little magazine publishers where they can display and sale their magazines.

Most bookstalls in the book fair display and sale Bengali and English books, however Hindi books are also available in several stalls.

All the big shot Bengali publishers (Ananda Publishers, Dey’s Publishing, Deb Sahitya Kutir, and Mitra Ghosh Publishers, Pratibhas, Punashcha, Sishu Sahitya Samsad etc.) as well as the English ones (Timely Books, Seagull Books, Oxford, Cambridge University Press etc.) Not only this, the fair also have stalls targeted mainly for diplomatic relationship of India with other countries, meaning many foreign countries mainly the European Union, Bangladesh and several Latin American embassies hosts their stalls in this fair. Over the years the fair has became an integral part of the Bengali culture in Kolkata and peoples visiting the fair almost each and every day is not quite a common phenomenon.

About Joy: A software developer by profession and working for IBM India, photography to me is my passion, way to relax and a kind of creative release. I like to capture day-to-day human activities, their emotions and hence my favourite genres are street photography and candid portraits.
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