Besides Durga Puja, it is the most awaited event of the year that every Kolkatan looks forward to. Rare books, foreign copies, author meets and book signing - Boi Mela is by far the most iconic and the best book fair in Kolkata that also happens to be the largest non-trade book fair in the world!
Foreign Books To Rare Copies & Author Meets: We're Getting Ready For The Best Book Fair In Kolkata
What Makes It Awesome
We're ever ready to pick up books at whopping discounts, find rare copies, get our portraits done, listen to the authors and may be even get our books signed. And we know we can get all this done only in Boi Mela. The calander-crowding multiple lit fests may mushroom every year, but Kolkata's iconic book fair will never get old for us. Old or young, student or otherwise, Boi Mela's extravaganza got to every body, which goes to explain it being world's largest non-trade book fair receiving more than 2 million footfalls every year!
Started in 1976, the first Kolkata Book Fair was held in the ground opposite Academy of Fine Arts and had an entry fee of 50 paisa for entry. Unlike the Frankfurt Book Fair, where rights of books are bought and sold, Kolkata's Boi Mela is known to be every reader's Araby, where one can buy as many books as possible at special discounted rates. Following the Frankfurt Book Fair, Boi Mela also started having a focal theme every year. In the recent years, the Kolkata book fair had countries as its themes and several countries have been coming in to be a part of this grand extravaganza. It's a different kind of joy to explore the numerous country pavilions and check out the amazing range of books that they showcase.
The 2019 Boi Mela is starting on January 31 and the theme is Guatemala - Heart of the Mayan World. A special delegation of the led by the Guatemalan Ambassador Mr Giovanni Castillo along with other well-know authors, poets and thinkers will be present. Don't forget to visit the dedicated pavilion of Guatemala that will showcase literature, films, songs and other cultural aspects of the country.
An important feature of the mela over the last few years is the Kolkata Literature Festival. Started in 2013, the Kolkata Literature Festival is a literary meet that is organised as an extension of the fair. Authors, thinkers, writers and scholars from around the world come down to take part in talks and conversations, and it's our best chance to load up on books and also get them signed from the authors! This year the literature festival is starting from February 7 and will go on till Feb 9. Authors like Anita Nair, Benyamin, Malik Sajad, Thomas Cadene and others will be attending the festival.
What Could Be Better
There is literally nothing that we would want to change about the best book fair of Kolkata.
In the recent years, guide maps, free Wi-Fi, washrooms and even battery-operated cars have been introduced to the book fair grounds.