Readers looking for critical and contemporary writings by unknown and new writers can find a great collection at “Little Mag Corner”, organized at the Bangla Academy premises as part of Amar Ekushey Book Fair 2018.
Located near the Burdwan House in Bangla Academy premises, the designated corner has 136 stalls.
There were 45 little magazine stalls at the fair in 2014, 60 stalls in 2015, 85 stalls in 2016, and 100 in 2017.
Despite being a great endeavour with a vision to promote new and unknown writers, publishers said the crowd is comparatively less at their stall. They do not publish write-ups of famous writers, and as a result they get less attention. This is the third week of the book fair but the Little Magazine Corner is still seeing small crowds.
Twenty-five of the stalls were found closed on Sunday when this correspondent visited the fair. No representatives from the stalls were present either.
Editors of little magazines said the publishers were losing interest as readers do not make purchases from them. Many sales representatives complained that sales were low compared to the mainstream stalls.
“We publish books from new authors who are not famous, so the readership is very low,” said little magazine stall Porbo sales executive Avimanyu Mohonto. He said he had not yet sold a single copy that day.
Chaitanya magazine Editor Rajib Chowdhury said the main readers of little magazines were the writers and publishers, but outside of the inner circle not many are buying books from there.
Editor of Kobita Potro, Hossain Delower, said little magazine is the platform where new writers can showcase their creativity, but readers do not have much interest in these books.
Aslam Sunny, poet and writer associated with the Little Mag Movement, said: “The importance of these publications are not less than the mainstream ones as these make sure that young people get a place to write. Despite the small readership, little magazines are moving forward in their own strength even in this age of multimedia.”
Ganasanghati Andolan Convener Junayed Saki said: “Authorities should take the Little Mag Corner to the main premises of Bangla Academy. It will get more exposure that way.”
Little magazines can be literary, and are usually not commercial, and feature articles. These magazines, small in size, are published either as weekly, fortnightly, monthly, quarterly or annually, carrying various kinds of writings. They deal with various subjects including politics, cinema, art, sociology, philosophy, and religion.
Some of the books being sold at the little mag corner include “Nam Likhechi Jole” by Shejad Nayeem Khan Tirjo, “Ballikkir Kutir” by Mojnu Saha, “Sex and Spiritual Poems” by Sarkar Amin, “The Old Huntsman by William Wordsworth” translated by Khaled Hamid, “Vuter Golpo” by Muhuk Roy, “Banger Holo Shordi” by Robiul Islam Robi and “Ontorikkho Roder Bagan” by Hossain Delower.