This year Bangla Academy set the theme of the fair as 'Birth Centenary of Bangabandhu'
The Amar Ekushey Book Fair, the annual event close to the hearts of book lovers, publishers, and authors of the country, drew to an end on Saturday in the presence of a huge crowd.
A total of 4,919 books hit the fair this year, including 184 brought in on Saturday, surpassing previous records of 4134 and 3646 books of the last two years.
Total sales amounted to Tk82 crore, while Bangla Academy sold books worth Tk2.33 crore.
Member secretary of the fair organizing committee Jalal Ahmed made the announcement at a press briefing organized last evening to call the fair to an end, reports UNB.
The fair drew regular crowds every day, but pulled in massive crowds on the weekends when Shishu Prohor, a children's program, was organized.
In the last two days of the fair, booksellers worked under pressure to manage the large crowds. Publishers, workers, and visitors expressed satisfaction over the sales and participation of people from all walks of life.
Hundreds of thousands of bibliophiles on Saturday gathered at the fair as it was the last chance for them to collect books by their favorite writers.
According to sources at Bangla Academy Information Centre, over 1500 poetry books were published during the fair while the number was 700 for novels.
This year Bangla Academy set the theme of the fair as “Birth Centenary of Bangabandhu”.
To mark the birth centenary of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, over one hundred new books were released on his life and politics at the fair.
Anyaprokash owner Mazharul Islam told Dhaka Tribune that the last two days had been weekly holidays and therefore attendance was especially big at the fair.
Although the number of books published was higher, buyers remained in low figures as most people came to the fair only for purposes of visiting, he added.
To utilize the discount offer at the last moment, Jannatul Ferdous Juni, along with her friends, came to the fair.
“I bought two extra books with the money I got from home for the book fair as some of the stalls were offering higher discounts during the last days,” she said.
Ataur Rahman, a visitor, said the appeal of the fair could easily be appreciated by the terrible traffic on the neighbouring streets.
Rhymester Lutfor Rahman Riton said people who visited the fair for the first time, even if it was only for visiting, might develop reading habits because of the environment.
Bangla Academy presented awards to the winners of its “Gunijon Sahitya Puroskar” chosen from the among the publishing houses participating at the Amar Ekushey Book Fair.
‘Kothaprokash’ received the ‘Chittaranjan Saha Smriti Puroskar 2020’, while ‘Munier Chowdhury Smriti Puraskar 2020’ was awarded for publishing aesthetically rich and standard content in books published in 2020.
Prothoma Publication was awarded for Johnerberg er Journal by Moinul Hossain, Journeymen Books publication for Prottoye Smriti O Onanno by Abul Hasnat and Bengal Publication for Smritir Pathorekha by Rafiqunnabi.
‘Rokonuzzaman Khan Dadabhai Smriti Puraskar’ was awarded to Panjeree Publication for publishing excellent books for children while ‘Qayyum Chowdhury Smriti Puraskar’ was given to three publications — Ovijan (Single Unit), Kuregar Prakashani Limited (Multi-Unit), and Bangla Prakash (Pavilion) for best interior design.
Syed Waliullah Literature Award-2018 went to writers Salma Bani and Shagufta Sharmin Tania.
This year, the land earmarked for the fair was expanded to 800,000 square ft.
A total of 873 units were allocated to 560 organizations. The authorities allotted 179 units at the Bangla Academy ground to 126 organizations and 694 at the Suhrawardy Udyan to 434 organizations. A total of 34 pavilions were allocated this year.