Kolkata Book Fair
All book lovers of Kolkata or West Bengal eagerly wait for this attractive festival in Kolkata, Kolkata Book Fair. This is a unique fair where Books are primarily for the general public rather than whole-sale distributors. It is 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.
Many Kolkatans consider the book fair an integral part of Kolkata. The fair also has a typical fairground experience with the smell of new books - with the presence of picnickers, singer-songwriters, and candy floss vendors on the fair premises. With a total footfall of over 2 million people, it is world's largest book fair by attendance.
Every year, the book fair committee decides a theme for the fair. Eminent personalities are invited and a special pavilion for the theme country is made. E.g Mexico has been selected the focal theme country for the 2010 Book Fair. Scotland was selected the focal theme country for the 2009 Book Fair, USA was the theme country for 2008.
Virtually all major European scientific publishers or corresponding franchisees set up a shop. This includes Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Kluwer and Springer Verlag.
The fair also has diplomatic mission stalls, which typically display and sell books of their country. The British Council, United States Information Service, and Alliance française typically host stalls. The European Union, Bangladesh and several Latin American embassies have hosted stalls in the recent years.
The fair traditionally starts on the last Wednesday of January and ends on the first or second Sunday of February (to ensure that the duration is always 12 days). It was initially a week-long event but popular demand forced authorities to extend the duration to 12 days in 2005.