Kolkata| West Bengal Chief minister Mamata Banerjee will inaugurate 41st International Book Fair in Kolkata (KBF) today, to be attended by over 600 publishers and book-sellers and over 200 little magazines. Coasta Rica’s acclaimed author and diplomat Roxana Pinto Lopez is already in the city, who is the Chief Guest of the inaugural event. Renowned Bengali author Nirendranath Chakraborty will also be on thye stage as honoured guest.
In fact, KBF is the Largest Open-air Book Fair in the world in terms of number of visitors. Nearly one-and-a-half million people will visit the fair and many of them buy books. Usually global book fairs, including Berlin and London, are buyer-seller meet; while Kolkata Book Fair is completely buyer-seller-author-reader event for 10 days. The fair will come to an end on February 5, 2017.
This year Costa Rica is the theme country of the fair. 29 countries including Bangladesh, Russia, the USA, the UK, Egypt, Spain, Bolivia and other Latin countries will have their presence. A good number of authors from Bangladesh will visit the fair and attend seminars and book inauguration ceremonies. Books of some Bangladeshi authors, including ‘Prof. Rukhsana Kajol’s Nunfal’, will be released here.
Almost all the localities and districts of the state do organize Book Fair as annual event. This year all the organising committees have faced currency problems due to Note-ban. Last year, KBF has reportedly scored a sale of Rs 25 crore. Sensing Himalayan trouble in the KBF, organizer Publisher and Book-sellers Guild approached the State Bank of India (SBI) authority, which has always been extending helping hand to KBF. General Manager (East) of the SBI informed that six mobile cash van will be stationed inside the Fair ground and deliver Rs 2000 to each Dabit Card holders per day, apart from Point-of-Sale machines, SBI Wallets and PayTM facilities. The bank will have an extension counter also in the Fair ground. Guild has tried to provide free Wifi for all visitors through service providers.
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