With five days to go before the month-long Amar Ekushey Boi Mela starts on February 1, the Bangla Academy premises is getting ready to greet thousands of book lovers and visitors.
Around two hundred workers are passing busy time to complete decoration and arrangement for their book stalls, which were distributed through lottery on Friday.
Bangla Academy, the organiser of the country's largest book fair, dedicated this year's book fair to Humayun Ahmed, a popular novelist and filmmaker, who died on July 19 last year.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to inaugurate the fair at 3:30pm on February 1, while Bangla Academy Chairman Prof Anisuzzaman will preside over the programme, Bangla Academy Deputy Director Murshid Uddin Ahmed told The Daily Star yesterday.
This year, the Book Fair Committee has taken a strict decision to confine the book fair to the academy premises, and therefore NGOs and cultural organisations did not get stalls.
â€œNo stalls would be allowed on the street outside the premises,â€ said Murshid. â€œWe have taken the decision to facilitate genuine authors and publishers.â€
Murshid, however, said they allowed stalls for some service and government organisations.
A total 407 units (space for stalls) have been distributed among 236 publishers, 30 units among 20 government organisations and 19 for eight service organisations, he said.
There will be a little magazine corner and a stall for the Bangladeshi writers living abroad.
A total of 630 units were distributed among 425 institutions last year.
The fair will keep open from 3:00pm to 9:00pm everyday. On holidays, it will be open between 11:00am and 9:00pm. The fair will open at 8:00am and continue till 9:00pm on February 21, International Mother Language Day.