Left a lot for book lovers
Special Correspondent: The Amar Ekushey Book Fair popularly known as (Ekushey Boi Mela), which had been a rendezvous for writers and book lovers over the last one month, closed yesterday with the awarding of best publishers in different categories.
On the last day yesterday, Bangla Academy extended the duration of the fair by one hour.
In the last 28 days, 3,304 books were published. Last year, the number was 3,700, according to the Information Centre of Bangla Academy.
Statistics shows, of the 3,304 books, the highest 909 books were on poetry, 518 were novels and 486 were on short stories. The fair in the city saw a healthy interaction between writers and readers not just through books but also via special sessions, said a DU female student Ferdousi while talking to Daily Industry.
Besides Bangla, English books were also in great demand. “It was truly a national book fair… I was amazed at finding books,” said a female tourist who visited the fair.
Mahmud Shafiq from Uttara, who came along with his two kids, bought two copies of colouring books and the Harry Potter book set.
“The kids were very keen on visiting the book fair, so I took them here. We have been coming here for last four years.
It is a good platform for book lovers as it encourages reading habit,” Mr Shafiq added.
This year, there has been a rise in the sale of children’s book and the youngsters have showed interest in books, according to the publishers.
The children’s pavilion especially remained a favourite spot among parents as also kids. Along with focus on children, this year’s theme ‘Sisimpur ‘ was aimed at highlighting books.
The month of February glorified the whole nation as it carried the most significant heritage in the history of Bangladesh and Ekushey Book Fair reminded the sacrifice the national hero. The book fair and the month of February mingled with each other.
The month of February carried some particular significance in our national life which is recognise the month of spring and rebellion. On 21st of February in 1952, four great young souls namely Abdus Salam, Rafiq Uddin Ahmed, Abul Barkat and Abdul Jabbar sacrificed their lives to establish Bangla language.
It is to pay homage to the language movement martyrs that each year Bangla Academy organise the Ekushey Book Fair which is the national book fair of Bangladesh.
Bangla Academy organized the month long fair at the beginning of the month February since 1978.
Book fair gives us ample of opportunity to see books, take in hand and have a taste without having any obligation to buy or face embarrassing question on buying. Increase in price of books has become a menace for ordinary buyers to buy books of their choice, but the publishers say that decrease in sale contributes more towards increase in cost.
Organisers said book fairs are lavishly arranged around the world. But Ekushey Book Fair has its own charm with smell of soil mixed with smell of new books and emotional interest of the visitors who anxiously wait for the publication of books of their favourite authors and have a look at them. This human touch makes it more lively and intimate.
Moreover, predominance of Bengali books and its connection with 21st February adds additional emotional significance to the occasion with love for mother language and glorious history of agitation for the same.
Apart from book sales, Bangla Academy organised literary and cultural events every day. Thousands of people assemble everyday to buy books and to have some leisurely time in the company of books and their authors with the spirit of February, they added.