Friday, March 1, 2024

Curtains drawn on Ekushey book fair

2,941 titles hit the fair
Staff Correspondent

Visitors crowd a stall at the Amar Ekushey Book Fair at the Bangla Academy in Dhaka on Saturday. — New Age photo
Visitors crowd a stall at the Amar Ekushey Book Fair at the Bangla Academy in Dhaka on Saturday. — New Age photo

Curtains were drawn on the month-long Amar Ekushey book fair at Bangla Academy on Saturday with a large number of book lovers crowding the fair on the concluding day. A total of 2,941 titles hit this year’s book fair with sales estimated at around Tk 18 crore.
A Bangla Academy survey puts the sales at more than Tk 18 crore but the academy director general claimed that the figure will be around Tk 30 crore.
Many publishers failed to give their sales report till the evening of February 28 to the survey team.
The academy made the estimate on the basis of information provided by the stall owners, Bangla Academy officials said.
The total sale in 2006 was about Tk 6 crore, 18 crore in 2007 and about 20 crore in 2008 according to Bangla Academy sources. Most of the publishers are not satisfied with their sales in this year’s book fair.
Some 2,941 new titles hit the Ekushey book fair till the end of the month-long event held on the Bangla Academy premises.
Collections of poems topped the list of new books followed by novels, while four complete works and a dictionary on different religious faiths also hit the fair.
According to the statistics provided by the information centre of the fair, the total number of new titles released in the fair is 2,741.
A total of 657 books of poems, 495 novels and 329 story books were released in the fair which also witnessed arrival of some 220 books for children.
Besides, 217 collections of essays, 110 rhymes, 99 biographies, 80 research books and on liberation war, 69 titles on science, 51 travelogues, 45 titles on politics, 40 titles on history, 36 on translation, 30 on satire, 29 on medical science and religion also were among the list of new arrivals.
Around 2578 books were released in Ekushey book in 2008 , 1919 books in 2007 and 2102 books in 2006, according to Bangla Academy sources.
A total of 326 publishing houses and government and non-government agencies participated in this year’s book fair at 460 stalls.
Three publishing houses — Anya Prakash, Student Ways and Muktadhara— were given Bangla Academy Award for stall decoration at the closing ceremony.
Kabir Chowdhury, president of the Bangla Academy, presided over the programme attended by Mercantile Bank managing director Dewan Mujibur Rahman and Bangla Academy director general Syed Mohammad Shahed were present.
A report on the Amar Ekushey book fair 2009 was placed at the concluding ceremony. The academy will announce the names of three best books published during the fair soon and the awards will be handed over to the writers of the books at a function on first Baishakh 1416 (April 14).
The Bangla Academy director general at a press conference expressed his dissatisfaction about the flouting of fair rules by some stall owners.
‘We will make a black list so that these stalls cannot get allocation of stalls in the next year,’ he said.
About six million people visited the Amar Ekeshey book fair this year.
At least 81 new titles hit the fair on the concluding day, while the information centre reported arrival of 79 titles including 29 books of poems, 10 novels, seven story books and collection of essays.
Bangla Academy cancelled its cultural function due to three-day national mourning declared by the government for those killed in the rebellion by the Bangladesh Rifles soldiers.
People were found standing in three long queues from the Teachers-Students Centre and Curzon Hall on the Dhaka University campus in the evening.
The security people, however, successfully managed the crowd. It took 10 minutes for the people standing in queues to enter the fair.
The budget for this year’s fair was Tk 31 lakh and sponsor Marcentile Bank spent Tk 28 lakh as decoration expenses.
Holding of the annual book fair on the academy premises began informally in 1972, but it became institutionalised in 1978.
The fair was named Amar Ekushey Granthamela and a guideline for it was formulated in 1984.

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