The blessing of Swaraswati blew across the Amar Ekushey Granthamela yesterday, as devotees visiting the nearby Jagannath Hall Puja Mandaps spilled over to the fair on Bangla Academy and Suhrawardy Udyan premises.
Besides, presence of students was also high since all public and most private education institutions were closed on the occasion of the puja for Swaraswati, the goddess of knowledge.
Dhaka Mahanagar Mohila College student Sushmita Sarkar came to the fair with a group of friends after praying for the goddess's blessings.
“I usually come on Pahela Falgun (February 13) and Ekushey February (February 21), but since this year Swaraswati puja is being held in February, I came here.”
With packets of books in two hands, Afsana Hossain was seen taking the inventory of the books she bought for her son and daughter. “This year, this is the first time I came to the fair since my daughter's school is closed today.”
Afsana's daughter Anushka, student of class VIII of Viquarunnessa School, said she bought a book by her favourite writer Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, “Tuntuni o Chhotachachhu”, and another by his deceased brother, Humayun Ahmed.
Even two years after his death, the demand for Humayun's books saw almost no decline.
Mozammel Haque Shishir, press coordinator of Anya Prokash, with a huge collection of the writer's books, said, “Old books by Humayun Ahmed are more in demand than the new ones. Beforehand, people used to come and ask for the new arrivals and take them away. Now they go through the old books and buy those.”
Fifty-seven new books of different genres by various publishers arrived at the fair yesterday and five books were launched.