This is the time of the year when bookworms in Kolkata are the happiest. The Kolkata Book Fair 2018 started on 30th January and this is nothing like any other fair you have visited. This one has its own soul. The largest book fair of Asia and the third largest in the world, it is like an ocean of books and I love it.
In case you don’t know about the Kolkata Book Fair and what an enormous event it is, I will explain it. My city is called the cultural capital of India where you can find an entire street full of books. Well, we will talk about that some other day. Books are like religion in Bengal and Bookfair is no less than a religious event. This fair is precious to us. Today, I am going to share my experience in Kolkata Book Fair 2018. I visited the fair on the last Sunday and almost 3 Lakh people headed towards the book fair on the same day! Now you are getting the picture right?
Since 1998, I have never missed visiting ‘Kolkata Boi Mela’. But, this time it was more special because the fair took place near my house. This was a temporary arrangement, anyway, I was excited. So, I went to the fair along with my sister and mom – all book lovers, all super thrilled. Now here is what happens every year. I promise myself I won’t spend my entire salary on the books and I fail to keep it, every year. This year was no exception and I don’t really regret it.
The sight inside the Book Fair was a delight. Bookshops in every corner, book lovers were everywhere. Most of the shops have a great collection of Bengali and English books. Even Hindi and Urdu books can be found in the stores. Popular, rare, vintage, new releases – you can find all kinds of books if you are looking at the right place. There will always be a gallery of Bangladesh, where stalls from Bangladeshi publications will exhibit their collection. This one is my favourite. It just gives me a feeling of togetherness. Literature bringing people together forgetting the borders – that’s the point of this mega event! Next, there was the gorgeous gallery of France. Did I mention France is the focal theme of this year? It was a bit crowded and we had to stand in a long queue, but the wait was well paid off.
The Kolkata Book Fair not only cherishes literature, it celebrates art and beauty at the same time. Painters display their works inside the fair and they are always a treat to the eyes. Next stop which I loved the most was the stalls for little magazines. This is the place where you discover fresh talents, authors those who will tell the tales of the future. They may not have the glamour of the big publishers, but they have always been one of the major attractions of the most happening book fair of the world.
By this time, all of us were carrying heavy bags full of books. We had to gulp two cups of coffee to keep us going. There is a food corner in the Book Fair but we opted for some sweets. It was the time to return home. Well, my legs couldn’t walk anymore and my heart didn’t want to leave the place at all. With a piece of great memories of Kolkata Book Fair 2018, we took our way back to home. Happy with all the new assets. After all, we have found precious gems printed on the papers!
These are what we bought at Kolkata Book Fair 2018.