This year the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela will be bigger in terms of participation of publishing houses, say the fair organisers.
Organisers and publishers expect a good number of quality books will be published in the month-long event.
Starting on the first day of February, the fair will accommodate around 450 stalls for publishing houses on Bangla Academy and adjacent Suhrawardy Udyan premises, said the organisers.
Last year, 409 publishing houses and Bangla Academy took part.
Prof Shamsuzzaman Khan, director general of Bangla Academy, said a number of quality books had already been submitted to the academy for launching during the fair. “Hopefully, these books will uphold the Bengali culture, which is the core aspect of the book fair."
Shamsuzzaman, who heads the fair arrangement committee, said they would build an additional gate on the east side of the fair to cope with the rush of people. He urged the publishers to maintain diversity and avoid publishing substandard books.
Jalal Ahmed, acting director (sales, marketing and reprinting) of the academy, said they had divided the stalls into categories based on space.
These are: single unit, double unit, triple unit, quadruple unit and pavilion, he said.
He added that around 100 organisations, including government institutions, research institutions, Bangabandhu Parishad, special organisations like braille, e-books, little magazine corner and Bangla Academy, will have space inside the academy.
The rest will be provided space in Suhrawardy Udyan, said Jalal.
Publishers and authors said the book fair is a place which helps create new authors and poets.
When publishers are busy with the final prints of new books, budding authors are hoping to have a good sale of their books at the fair.
War crimes researcher Mofidul Hoque said participation of more publishing houses and use of digital medium for publishing books were good signs.
However, the organisers have to think about more access of book lovers to the fair and ensure how people all over the country can get their books published at the fair.
Also the publisher of Sahitya Prakash, Mofidul said this year they would publish 15 to 20 books, mainly non-fictions, on the Liberation War and sociopolitical issues.
Farid Ahmed, publisher of Shomoy Prakashani, said alongside publishing some noted authors' books, they would promote young writers and poets by publishing their books.
It will bring to the fair around 70 new books in about 20 categories, including non-fiction, research work, Liberation War, Sci-fi, poetry and fiction.
He said the organisers should decorate the stalls in a way so that readers could easily find the books they want.
The most significant part of the book fair is that it creates new readership each year when the book-reading culture is declining. Another thing is that it helps readers get local writers' books, said academician Prof Syed Manzoorul Islam.
“A book fair can reflect a society's reading culture. In this sense, Amar Ekushey Boi Mela has tremendous significance in our culture,” he said.
He added that schools and colleges across the country should come forward and join the Bangla Academy in promoting reading habit of students.
The month-long fair will fulfill the expectations of book lovers, he hoped. “The fair ground has to be easily accessible while sufficient meeting place has to be there for interaction of readers and authors.”