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Kolkatans bid adieu to book fair 2019 in high spirits, even as it ends a day too soon

Kolkatans bid adieu to book fair 2019 in high spirits, even as it ends a day too soon

Kolkata: Enthusiasm among the book lovers of the city failed to wane even as the 43rd International Kolkata Book Fair (IKBF) ended a day sooner than other years on Sunday.

According to statistics provided by the Publishers and Booksellers Guild authorities, books worth Rs 20 crore were sold and 22 lakh people visited the book fair in 2018. In comparison, the sale of books has increased to Rs 21 crore this year, despite the fair ending a day earlier. Also, the number of visitors has also seen a substantial jump to 23 lakh. The guild's general secretary Tridib Chatterjee has expressed his gratitude towards the Mamata Banerjee government for making the event a success for yet another year.

According to the guild authorities, four persons were presented with a token cheque of Rs 1 lakh each, which can only be used to buy books and a book shelf. The guild has also mentioned about one Debabrata Chatterjee, a school teacher from Chakdah in Nadia, who had bought books worth Rs 2.42 lakh.

Apart from the prizes given away by the guild to the four lottery winners, it has also honoured 2019 focus country Guatemala's ambassador Giovanni Castillo. He said: "I am honoured. We will participate in the IKBF in future even if we do not become the focus country again."

In a first, the guild had decided to focus and showcase the literature and culture of the Lepcha community during the book fair. During the 12-day-long event, representatives from the Hill community had come up with a stall. Representatives of the community were acknowledged for their active participation in the fair.

The guild authorities have also honoured the Bidhannagar Police, the Fire and Emergency Services department, state Transport department, Urban Development department, Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation, and other agencies and departments, for their efforts to make the 2019 book fair a success. Representatives from the departments were also presented with a memento each. Around 150 street children from Narkeldanga canal side area were given free books on Monday evening.

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