With three days still to go, the number of books released this year at the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela, the country's largest literature festival, has already surpassed the number of books that came out over the entire month-long fair in 2017.
According to the numbers provided daily by Bangla Academy, this year's book fair eclipsed the 2017 edition on Day 23, that is, February 23, when the fair closed for the day with the cumulative figure for books released having ticked over to 3,728, with another 166 releases on the day.
In 2017, the total number of books released during the book fair was 3,646.
With another 182 releases on Saturday, the total number of books released this year soared to 3,910 at the end of Day 24.
Poetry volumes continue to rule as the leading genre of books coming out. So far, over one-third of the 3,728 books released, 1,291 fall in poetry category. The share was very similar in 2017, with 1,122 of the 3,646 books released being volumes of poetry.
They are followed by stories collections, which stand second with 585 releases this year till the 24th. In 2017, a total of 576 releases were enough to secure second place for the genre.
Novels though are not far behind with 562 releases this year till the 24th, which means there is a chance they might still give the short stories a run for the readers' money. Last year, they remained third with 520.
Essays can be found trailing in a distant fourth, with 219 releases this year till February 24, whereas last year the total was just 168.
Salesmen of different stalls, however, were almost unanimous in asserting that despite trailing both poem books and short stories in terms of the number coming out, novels were selling much better than either genre. Though poetry has been published, sales and response remain poor.
They also informed that the sale of stories collections and science fiction stories are on the rise.
UNB correspondents roaming the fairgrounds have consistently found large crowds made up mostly of youngsters thronging outside specialist sci-fi publishing houses' stalls, such as that of Sheba Prokashoni.
Publishers from across the country are publishing a huge number of books on different issues every day while Bangla Academy is exhibiting 141 newly printed and reprinted books.
Books are being sold at 25% discount while transaction through the bKash is eligible for a further 10% discount.