The annual Colombo International Book Fair (CIBF), Sri Lanka’s best-patronised public exhibition, opens at the BMICH on September 19. In its 11th year, the fair will run for nine days encompassing two weekends, and will be open to the public for twelve hours each day, the organisers said.
Nearly half a million book lovers are expected to flock to this year’s exhibition, at which local booksellers and publishers have taken 360 stalls and 40 stalls have been allocated to foreign publishers. “Every bit of available space will be utilised in a well laid out stall plan to better accommodate the large crowds expected this year,” said Upali Wanigasuriya, Secretary General of CIBF 2009. “We have incorporated the learnings from previous exhibitions to facilitate visitor flow around the stalls and make browsing and buying easier.”
The 400 stalls will be located in ten sections, two of them at the Sirimavo Bandaranaike Exhibition Centre, four in the outdoor exhibition area in front of the centre, and four in the lobby areas of the main hall of the BMICH, he said. In Colombo this week, 15 leading book publishers and booksellers formally signed contracts to sponsor the CIBF 2009, with M D Gunasena taking on the mantle of Principal Sponsor. Malpiyali, Rathna Publishers and Wasana Publications took Platinum sponsorship, Buddhist Cultural Centre, Jeya Book Centre and Pitraban took Gold sponsorship, Godage Book Emporium, Makeen Books, Samayawardhana Bookshop and Sarasavi took Silver sponsorship and Ariya Publishers, Nalaka, Fast Publishing (Pvt) Ltd and Vijitha Yapa Bookshop took Bronze sponsorship. Sampath Bank will be the Official Bank for CIBF and Rupavahini will be the Electronic Media Sponsor.