'Buy book-win library' campaign by Kolkata Book Fair

To foster reading habits among the people, the 43rd International Kolkata Book Fair will gift designer book shelf along with books worth Rs 1 lakh to each of the four lottery winners on the last day of the 11-day fair on February 10.

"We want to increase book reading habit among the public as e-books and smart phones are posing a challenge to the printed word," Tridib Chatterjee, General Secretary of the organisers Publishers & Booksellers Guild, told a press meet here Monday.

"The initiative - 'Buy Books and win a Book Library' - is aimed at increasing reading book habit among the people. A lottery among the visitors will be held on the last day of the fair. Its four winners will be given a designer book shelf filled with titles chosen by them," he said.

The titles can be anything - stories, poems, fictions, essays, travel-related literature and even text books.

Chatterjee said 26 countries from across the world will be attending the International Kolkata Book Fair which will witness participation of authors from Russia, Costa Rica, Spain, Scotland, Australia, Argentina, Bangladesh and this year's theme country Guatemala.

Guatemala ambassador Giovanni Castillo and the country's eminent author Prof Euda Morales will attend the inaugural function on January 31 along with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and others.

To a question, Chatterjee said, there was as yet no confirmation about any representation from Pakistan in the book fair. "To my knowledge there are visa-related issues which are beyond our control," he said.

As a tribute to three prominent literary figures - Nirendranath Chakraborty, Dibyendu Palit and Atin Bandyopadhyay - who had passed away since last week of December, the book fair authorities will name three pavilions after them.

As part of the effort to promote indigenous cultures and languages, February 2 will be observed as 'Lepcha Day' in the book fair while a stall will come up to showcase their culture and heritage.