the 45th Kolkata International Book Fair 2022 is in full swing and like every year it is one of the most anticipated events in Kolkata for Bengalis across the state.
Like festivals, a true blue Kolkatan celebrates the Book Fair in true bibliophile style. Authors, poets, artists, actors, politicians, ministers, everyone joins the event. Indeed, some attend the Salon du Livre every day throughout its journey.
To make the most of the final days of the 45th Kolkata International Book Fair 2022, here is everything you need if you are planning a visit.
Where is the 45th Kolkata International Book Fair 2022 being held and how to get there?
The Book Fair is held at the Central Park Mela Ground, Bidhannagar, in Salt Lake. This year’s theme country is Bangladesh and it is dedicated to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The Book Fair is operational from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Getting to the Kolkata Book Fair is easy as the state government has set up shuttle services like every year. These bus services are available from Karunamoyee Bus Terminal, which is right next to the Exhibition Grounds and are operational via 11 different channels across the city. They are:
Channel 1: Sealdah Station, Mandirtala, Rajabajar
Channel 2: Howrah Station
Channel 3: Thakurpukur, Tollygunge Metro
Channel 4: Jadavpur
Channel 5: Jadavpur
Channel 6: Parnasree, Shakuntala Park, Joka, Gariahat
Channel 7: Garia, Kamalgazi, Baruipur
Channel 8: Barasat, Santragachi
Channel 9: Ultadanga
Channel 10: Dumdum Station, Barrackpore
Channel 11: Halt in Bali
Navigate Through Kolkata Book Fair 2022
It’s easy to get lost in the fairgrounds, given the area it covers and, of course, the Bengali’s love of books. To make sure that doesn’t happen, the Book Fair organizers have a map on the official website of the festival and have also partnered with Alliance Broadband for WiFi in the lounge so you can access the map on high speed internet.
Not only that, the official website also offers real-time updates and schedules, hotline numbers and more, to make it easier for visitors to travel. You will also find volunteers and police personnel positioned everywhere to help people.
Apart from that, the city’s electricity authority, CESC, has also developed a handy app, available on the Google Play Store, to help you navigate the book fair.
All Book Stalls at Kolkata International Book Fair 2022
While at other times the Book Fair easily accommodates over 800 bookstands, this time the number has dropped to 600, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, the Salon du livre saw the participation of 580 book publishers and 200 small magazines. With nine gates on all sides of the fair, the best way to get around is on foot.
As always, the book collection is extensive. Whatever you’re looking for, there’s almost no chance you won’t find a book here. Ranging from sci-fi to non-fiction, classics, manga and thrillers to self-help and more, Kolkata Book Fair never disappoints!
There are two auditoriums named after Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose (Hall 1) and Sri Aurobindo Ghosh (Hall 2), which mainly house publications in English. At the international complex, you will find stalls of books from different countries, such as the United States, Italy, Japan, Mexico, France and Iran, which joined the fair for the first time.
The target country this year is neighboring Bangladesh. Be sure to drop by the pavilion housing the country’s works. With 50 publishers, there is a wide range of books on the birth of Bangladesh, the Bangladesh Liberation War and more.
Beyond Books at Kolkata International Book Fair 2022
A true Kolkata book fair regular knows that the book fair is not only about books but much more. Several cultural events and performances take place throughout the day at the auditorium, including book launches, music events, dance events and more. The Mukta Mancha Open Stage is another venue for all cultural activities. This year, the stage was dedicated to the legendary actor, the late Soumitra Chatterjee.
You’ll also come across stalls selling jewelry, crafts, and lots of unique items, staffed by artists from across the state.
Last but not least, like any other event in the city, the Book Fair cannot be complete without food. Food stalls are a regular and a must at any event for Bengalis, and the Book Fair has never disappointed. Offering street food and delicious, easy-to-carry snacks, these stalls are always packed. Head to these restaurants after buying all your favorite books and end the day on a high!
The 45th Kolkata International Book Fair 2022 runs till March 13.
All images: Courtesy of Instagram