Book lovers flocked in huge numbers to the Amar Ekushey Book Fair at the Suhrawardy Udyan on Friday, but the sales of books did not match the increasing number of visitors.
“The number of visitors to the fair has increased but they just came to check out books, not to buy. Sales have fallen compared to last weekend,” noted Shipu Saha of Sanghati Publications.
An official at the Dhaka Metropolitan Police stall at the fair further when talking to the Dhaka Tribune.
Meanwhile, huge crowds swarmed the food stalls.
People from different areas across the country came to the fair on the holiday and bought books of their favorite writers.
Ripon Mondal came with his younger brother from Naogaon district’s Mahadevpur to visit the book fair. He told the Dhaka Tribune: “I used to visit the fair every year. As it is Friday, my brother and I came to Dhaka in the morning to attend the fair. The spirit of our Language Movement encourages me a lot.”
Ripon urged that the fair could be arranged in every district around the country and be centrally supported by the government.
Rafikul Islam, a poet from West Bengal, India, was at the fair to attend the launching ceremony of his book of poems titled “Nijosso Journal”.
He said, “An international book fair has also been arranged in Kolkata this February. But love and emotions for a book is seen on the face of book lovers here in the Bangladeshi book fair which is absent in Kolkata. I am really glad to attend the fair in Dhaka.”
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A total of 273 new books were released on the 16th day of the fair, and 2,349 books have been newly launched at the fair so far Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune
Jasim Mollick, a Bangladeshi writer now living in Canada, has not missed a visit to the fair in the last 15 years. He launched two books this year, which include “Nirbachito Golpo”, published from Tamrolipi.
“This is a book based on North American livelihood, Bangladesh’s liberation, and social context related stories,” Mollick said.
“Today this fair has become the get-together of writers, publishers, and book lovers,” he added.
Another book by Jasim, “Smritikotha”, has been published by Katha Publications.
A total of 273 new books were released on the 16th day of the fair, and 2,349 books have been newly launched at the fair so far.
This year has seen the most number of poetry books launched at the fair – 709 to be exact. Other than that, 398 novels, 316 storybooks, and 46 liberation-related books have been launched as of February 16.
Meanwhile, Central Coordination Committee for celebrating Ekushey, formed by Dhaka University to celebrate Language Martyrs' Day and International Mother Language Day on February 21, declared that cleaning, colour and decoration work for the Central Shaheed Minar was scheduled to start on Sunday. From February 18-21, no organizations will be permitted to arrange any program at Shaheed Minar, a DU press release said.
University authorities requested not to use the walls of the university area for pictures, graffiti, posters and banners during the time to protect the honour and dignity of Amar Ekushey.
Apart from this, all the concerned sub-committee members have been requested to perform the duty they have been assigned.