The 43 International Kolkata Book Fair is all set to begin, and the City of Joy is eager to host reading enthusiasts like every year. Guatemala will be this year’s ‘theme country’, and the 12-day annual fair will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the presence of Ambassador of Guatemala Prof Euda Morales.

International Kolkata Book Fair 2019 Dates to Remember

The International Kolkata Book Fair 2019 will be start at 4 pm on 31 January 2019. Visitors will be allowed between 12 noon and 8 pm every day.

31 January: Inauguration

1 February: Guatemala Day event

2 February: Lepcha evening

7, 8 and 9 February: Kolkata Literature Festival

10 February: Bangladesh Day

11 February: Concluding day

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International Kolkata Book Fair 2019 venue 

The International Kolkata Book Fair 2019 will be held at the Central Park Mela Complex in Salt Lake, Karunamayee. There will be nine entry and exit gates at the IKBF 2019 for easy movement of the visitors.

The West Bengal government will provide additional 190 shuttle bus services from Howrah railway station, Sealdah railway station, Ultodanga, Garia, Behala and Shyambazar to the Central Park Mela Ground during the fair days.

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International Kolkata Book Fair 2019 Attractions and Highlights

  • Approximately 600 stalls and presence of 200 Little Magazines.
  • The three halls mainly displaying English publications have been named after Nirendranath Chakraborty, Dibyendu Palit and Atin Bndyopadhyay who passed away recently. The Little Magazine Pavilion will be named after Pinaki Thakur.
  • Wi fi zone for authors, guests and media.
  • International Kolkata Book Fair 2019 Android and IOS mobile app (to be launched soon)
  • 20 countries participating in IKBF 2019. Authors from Russia, Costa Rica, Spain, Scotland, Australia, Guatemala, Argentina and Bangladesh, along with noted Indian counterparts, will take part in different interactive sessions and seminars.
  • Focus on Lepcha Scheduled Tribe to showcase their literature and culture. Mayel Lyang Lepcha Development Board will have a stall at the fair. On 2 February, there will be an evening with the Lepcha members.
  • Special Gandhi stall to commemorate 150th birth anniversary year of Mahatma Gandhi. The stall will display photocopies of Gandhiji’s original letters, his notes written in Bengali, hand spun threads by national leaders, some rare books on Gandhi like Young India, Harijan etc and several publications of the Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya, Barrackpore.
  • CESC Corner for eminent guests, like last year. Every day, a daily lottery draw will be held from there, and CESC will distribute Book Gift Coupon worth Rs 10,000 to the lucky winners.
  • Special ‘CESC Srishti Samman’ for Manishankar Mukhopadhyay.
  • 6th edition of Kolkata Literature Festival on 7-9 February.

IKBF 2019 Theme Country: Guatemala 

Guatemala is the ‘theme country’ for International Kolkata Book Fair 2019. Keeping in mind this, the two main gates will showcase Guatemala’s architecture.

February 1 will be the Guatemala Day when the Asoke Sarkar Memorial Lecture will be delivered.

Last year, the theme country was France.

‘Buy books and win a Book Library’: Kolkata Book Fair 2019 Special Lottery Draw 

At the CESC Corner, a lottery draw will be held every day, and the the lucky winners will get Book Gift Coupon worth Rs 10,000.

On the last day of the fair, i.e. 11 February, there will be the grand finale (“Buy books and win a Book Library”) of the daily lottery. There will be four lucky winners and each one of them will get a personal ‘book library’ — a designer book shelf filled with books worth Rs 1 lakh — to take home. The winners will get a chance to select the books they want. The move aims to encourage reading habit.