Visitors flock to the book fair, sales increase

Visitors throng to the Amar Ekushey Book Fair in Dhaka on Bhasha Shaheed Day Monday. —Sony Ramany

Visitors swarmed the ongoing Amar Ekushey Book Fair in Dhaka and sales surged on Monday as Amar Ekushey and International Mother Language Day were observed in Bangladesh and elsewhere around the world.

The doors of the fair opened at 8:00 a.m. to visitors. People from all walks of life began to flock to the book fair in the morning.

“The number of visitors was low in the morning, but it kept increasing,” Abdul Kader, a salesman at Gyankosh Prokashoni, said around noon.

“The book fair welcomes a huge crowd from the afternoon and the sale is satisfactory,” added Abdul Kader.

Ananya Publishing House Editor Monirul Hoque said, “The sale has increased with visitors. Participation and sales are better than in previous years.

Director of Nalonda Publishing House, Zakir Hussain, said: “The book fair is gaining momentum today. We have already sold a satisfactory number of books.

Many children, accompanied by tutors, came to the children’s corner in the morning to buy their favorite books.

Kader Babu, publisher of Babui Prokash, said, “We have already brought 15 new books for children and 10 more are in the works. We get good responses from the kids.

Some visitors have complained about difficulties in finding the stalls they want.

‘It is very difficult to find a stand in the fairground because the map of allocated stands is not very available. The book fair authorities should install the card in certain places,” said visitor Mizanur Rahman.

“It is quite difficult to go to the information booth every time to find out the location of a booth in such a big funfair,” said Shohel Rana from Narayanganj.

Ashraful Kabir, a former student from the University of Dhaka, said: “I collected catalogs and made a list of new books. I will start buying the books later.

Mahfuz Emran, a student at East West University, said, “I came to the fair with my friends. I bought Himu Samagra by Humayun Ahmed and am now looking for new novels.

Bangla Academy officials urged people to maintain social distancing and wear masks, but many visitors were seen not following Covid-19 health guidelines.

Over 150 poets recited their self-written poems in the morning at Bhasha Shaheed Muktamancha at the premises of Bangla Academy in a recitation program chaired by poet Asim Shah.

At the same venue, 25 renowned poets recited self-penned poems in a program titled Kabi Kanthe Ekushey Kabita Path, which was chaired by Bangla Academy Secretary AHM Lokman in the afternoon.

Also, a discussion on language movement was held on the main stage at the premises of the Bangla Academy. Bangla Academy Director General Mohammad Nurul Huda delivered the welcome speech while Poet Asad Chowdhury delivered the keynote speech for the program chaired by Academy President Selina Hossain.

A total of 224 new books were launched on Monday and the total number of new arrivals hit 692 so far on the seventh day of the country’s biggest book fair.

The fair will open at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday and will continue until 9:00 p.m.

Visitors will not be allowed to enter the fairgrounds after 8:30 p.m.

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