Ekushey crowd in book fair

February 23, 2014

People, who went to pay tribute to the martyrs of the language movement by placing flowers at the Central Shaheed Minar, visited the Amar Ekushey Book Fair on Friday, adding to the fair crowd arguably to the highest extent. Many attending cultural programmes in different spots on the Dhaka University campus also streamed into the fair crowd. People of all ages who went to the fair with the national flag, Shaheed Minar, or Bangla letters painted on cheeks, forehead and hands, could hardly get the scope for looking at books with ease because of the heavy rush.
The fair on Friday opened at 8:00am and continued till 10:00pm so that the people coming to the Central Shaheed Minar could visit the book fair.
Amidst the flooding visitors, the day also witnessed a big sales turnover and the highest number of new arrivals.
Dilruba Jahan, a housewife who went to the fair with her husband and two children from Moghbazar in the capital, said, ‘We come to the Shaheed Minar and then entered the fair.’
‘Festivity is all around,’ she said. ‘But we have yet to get the chance to buy books because of the crowd.’
Publishers and stall attendants said that they had passed a hectic day with a goods sales turnover.
People selling pirated and Indian books, household objects and toys on the road passing between the Bangla Academy and Suhrawardy Udyan also made a brisk business.
Two hundred and fifty-three titles hit the fair on the day with 58 volumes of poems, 47 novels and 34 compilation of stories. Twenty-two books were launched at Nazrul Mancha.
In the morning, the academy organised a programme of recitation where some 200 poets from different parts of the country recited their poems with poet Habibullah Siraji in the chair.
In the afternoon, a discussion on ‘Humanity in Bangla culture and Amar Ekushey’ was held on the main stage.
The academy’s director general Shamsuzzaman Khan delivered the inaugural speech. The academy’s chairman Anisuzzaman presided over the programme.
The final children’s hour for this year’s fair was held on Saturday morning. The fair ends on Friday.
The special hours between 10:00am and 3:00pm for young readers were held to give them the chance to browse and buy favourite books in a less-crowded environment.
Publishers expressed satisfaction about the presence of buyers. ‘It is not only satisfactory but it has already crossed our expectations,’ said Shariful Islam, who was manning the stall of Sheba Prakashani.
One hundred and sixty titles hit the fair on that day — 37 volumes of poems, 22 compilation of stories and 21 novels. Twenty books were launched at Nazrul Mancha.
The academy held a discussion on Reverend Krisnamohan Bandyopadhyay in the afternoon. Gulam Mostofa read out the keynote paper while Abul Ahsan Chowdhury presided over the session.
The fair is open from 3:00pm to 8:30pm every day but on the weekends and holidays, when it remains open from 11:00am till 8:30pm with a break for two hours between 1:00pm and 3:00pm.

Courtesy of New Age

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