The world’s largest book fair


Fellow bookworms: you still have one more day to get to Kolkata (formerly in Calcutta) in the India state of West Bengal. Because tomorrow is the final day of the world’s largest book fair. As the New York Times reported last week:

Organized by the Publishers and Booksellers’ Guild at the Milan Mela Ground, the annual book fair, which begins Wednesday at noon and runs through Feb. 9, is the largest retail book fair in the world and an important event in Kolkata’s literary and cultural scene.

The book fair, open from noon to 8 p.m., will include 770 stalls spread over 18 acres (800,000 square feet), offering books in English, Hindi, Bengali and many other languages. Publishers from 29 countries are participating. From Bangladesh alone, 25 publishers will be in attendance.

About 200 stalls, housed in the Little Magazine Zone, are dedicated to small magazines — independent, experimental and noncommercial publications.

Peru is this year’s focal theme country, marking the golden jubilee of India-Peru diplomatic relations. The Peru pavilion presents an elaborate exhibition on the country’s culture and history in the form of labyrinth. The exhibition leads visitors through different aspects of Peruvian life, ending with Machu Picchu at the center.

The Kolkata Language and Literary Festival begins Thursday with a ceremony presided by Mr. Tharoor. At the festival, which runs through Saturday, the noted Bengali writer Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay will introduce the Bengali translation of Mr. Tharoor’s book “The Great Indian Novel” by Jhimli Mukherjee Pandey.

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