2023 Kolkata Book Fair To Be On Pre-Covid Scale

The 46th International Kolkata Book Fair, scheduled to be held in January next year, will be on the pre-COVID scale if cases do not rise again, the organisers said. According to Sudhanshu Sekhar Dey, president of the Publishers and Booksellers Guild, the upcoming edition of the international book fair would feature additional space and book booths.

Dey told, PTI on the sidelines of the inauguration of the 10-day ‘Sharod Boi Parbon’ (autumn book fair) held in the run-up to Durga Puja, Further, he added, “In 2021 due to the prevailing COVID situation the 45th edition of the Kolkata International Book Fair could not be held. It was held in 2022 with curtailed stall space and certain restrictions.”

“The organizers are hoping that the 46th edition will be on the pre-COVID scale, with bigger and more number of stalls, and more international guests like in the 44th edition in 2020 before the pandemic struck, if the current situation does not contort,”.

Nearly 600 stalls were set up in the 45th edition of the fair, which was held in March 2022, and we hope to raise the number next year to accommodate additional publishers and book-sellers, according to Dey.

Tridib Chatterjee, the guild’s general secretary, described that the 2023 edition will take place at the same position, Central Park in Salt Lake City. “Preparations for the event, which will be on a huge scale, have already begun,” he said.

The previous edition in 2022 had a total sale of Rs 22 crore. Meanwhile, the ‘Sharod Boi Parbon,’ which is being conducted as part of the Durga Puja celebrations from September 2-11, is believed to feature 100 publishers participating in the autumn book carnival, which has 70 stalls.

At the same time as the book fair’s opening ceremony, prominent writer Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay declared, “E-books cannot take the place of printed books. Reading e-books cannot replace the simple delight of obtaining literary classics and scrolling through pages. This book fair’s book sales demonstrate that paperback and hardbound volumes are here to stay.”

Mukhopadhyay expressed hope that publishers and book-sellers, hard hit by COVID-triggered lockdowns, will be able to make some recovery following sales at the book fair.

 “As the Durga Puja vibe grips Kolkata, there could not have been a better time and occasion to celebrate literature and poetry than organizing a 10-day extravaganza for the City of Joy.” said West Bengal Minister of State for Culture Indranil Sen.

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