Somoy is one of the prominent publication houses in the country. Former Executive Director of Bangladesh Gyan and Srijonshil Prokashak Samiti (an organisation of publishers), Farid Ahmed is the proprietor of the publication house. He earned immense fame as a publisher of creative books. Farid recently spoke to The Daily Star about Ekushey Boi Mela.
How many books are you bringing out this year?
Farid: Around 60-70. Of them, the novel named “Bidhobadher Kotha” by Hasan Azizul Haque and science fiction “Serina” by acclaimed author Dr Muhammed Zafar Iqbal were published. Other books penned by Prof Muntasir Mamun, Shamsuzzaman Khan (Director General of Bangla Academy), Anisul Hoque, Communications Minister Obaidul Qader, Cultural Affairs minister Asaduzzaman Noor and Finance Minister AMA Muhith, were brought out at this year's Ekushey Book Fair.
What does the book fair signify to you?
Farid: It is like the lungs of publishers and readers. Publishers and readers cannot live without it. I think the fair is a fantastic congregation of authors, readers and publishers.
This is the first time publishers were allowed to put up pavilions. What do you think of that?
Farid: It is definitely good news for publishers. Due to this, readers can easily browse their favourite books. Besides, the area allocated for stalls has been extended. We publishers are very happy with this arrangement.
It is titled Ekushey Boi Mela but why the books on Ekushey are rarely seen at the fair?
Farid: I think it's because many of the writers who could write great books on Ekushey February have passed away, and maybe that's why such books are rarely published any more. But I think more books on Ekushey February should be written.