With several copies of pirated books in his hands, 13-year-old Sumon was hawking on the footpath near the entrance of Amar Ekushey Boi Mela premises yesterday.
He was not allowed inside the main premises of the book fair to sell his pirated books.
But, this did not impact on his spirit in vending books, as he with his attractive tactics draws attention of many booklovers to have a glimpse of the books. Some people buy them and some don’t.
“Visitors, who cannot buy books from the stalls inside due to high price, purchase books from me and other vendors on the footpath at low price,” said Suman. “Someday I earn Tk 200 and someday it reaches up to Tk 500.”
Like Suman, some 40 vendors have been selling pirated books on the pavement of the road leading to entrance of the book fair from the TSC intersection since the fair began on February 1.
Popular books of a wide range of nature including poem, story, translation, omnibus, autobiography, and others of both local and foreign authors are available on the street.
Though the quality of pages and printed letters of the books are not satisfactory enough, they draw attention of a good number of buyers because of low prices.
Most of the footpath sellers usually vend books on the pavements of Nilkhet, Farmgate, Mirpur, and Banglabazar in the city round the year.
But, they take to the footpaths near the book fair premises during this festival.
Displaying over 300 books, Mahbub Hossain of Mirpur was trying to attract readers. He said that usually they sell book with narrow profit margin, as it is a competitive market.
Bahalul Haque Suza, a student of Rajshahi College who was browsing books around the footpath, said, “I know the quality of the books available on footpath is not good, but I can get them at low price and it is helpful for a student like me.”
The sellers said they run this footpath business every year during the biggest and month-long gala for authors, publishers, and booklovers when maximum number of readers swarm the fair ground and hardly face any trouble from any quarter.