As soon as the gates opened, book-lovers of all ages dashed inside, with crowds amassed on the grounds within a half hour. Small groups of friends stood at every corner, taking photographs and selfies with their newly-purchased books.
The publishers of popular novels experienced high demand for romantic stories. Meanwhile, visitors between the ages of 15-30 looked for collections by eminent writers.
Polash, a salesperson at Anyaprokash, said: “We sold many copies of Humayun Ahmed’s “Matal Haowa” today, though the book has no connection to the spring season. This is his seventh publication originally launched in 2010.”
Tahmina, a college student and fiction fan, made inquiries about newly-released fictional works at each stall, buying several. She said: “I always wait for the book fair to arrive as I love to read stories. In fact, I have a small library with 200 fictional works at home, which I hope to add to in time.”
Graphics designer Naim has visited the fair since opening day. He said: “I bought a number of essay collections, mostly persuasive essays.
Though, I am trying to rein myself in as I buy two to three new books every day, though I will start buying listed books in the last week of the fair. I saw a bigger crowd today than on Sunday. The most likely reason is Pohela Falgun,” he said.
Shobhon accompanied his uncle who seemed to come to the fair with a mission in mind, making inquiries at each stall for books on the nation. Shobhon said: “My uncle asked me to join him and is indiscriminately buying books on Bangladesh.
“I, however, am more interested in purchasing the works of Nazrul or Rabindranath Tagore,” he added.
Shamsuddoha Milon, a book-lover from Pirojpur, asked for books on international affairs and history at the different stalls. He said: “Taste in books changes with time, and I am now drawn to serious issues and critical writings on history.”
Visitors have nearly doubled in number from the earliest days. A total of 71 new titles hit the bookshelves with 15 being formally launched at the fair.