Book lovers grabbed the opportunity to spend an extra day at Ekushey book fair yesterday, first day of the weekend extension.
Rain had marred the joy of literary enthusiasts for a couple of days, as many had missed their chance to attend the fair.
But people from different walks of life came to the fair with their family and loved ones yesterday as there was no sign of rain and the sky was clear and sunny.
“I could not manage time to come to the fair due to an official matter. But finally, I've managed to show up,” said Nitu Zaman, a private job holder, who visited the fair with her husband.
Thanking the Bangla Academy authority for extending the fair, she said, “This extension has helped those who could not attend the fair in February due to unavoidable circumstances.”
Bangla Academy took the decision to extend the month-long fair till March 2 on February 28, the official concluding day of the fair, considering low turnout on the last days of February due to rain.
As it was a Friday, the fair opened at 11am and the children's corner was abuzz with little ones. They enjoyed their time with Sisimpur characters Halum, Ikri and Tuktuki.
“This is my last chance this year to bring my kids to the fair, so I want them to enjoy to the fullest,” said Nadia Rahman, a mother of two.
The turnout was comparatively low for a weekend but publishers remained hopeful for more sales.
“The extension has definitely helped us increase sales. Although the crowd is not as big as we expected, we're not losing hope,” said Md Ismail, manager of Ankur Prakashani.
Some publishers alleged that if the decision to extend the fair was taken couple of days earlier, then more people would be aware of the extension.
“The authorities took the decision at the eleventh hour; it would be better if they had decided earlier,” said Faruk Hossain, in-charge of Anyadhara publication.
Besides, although vehicle movement was restricted on the TSC to Doyel Chatter route throughout February, it was open for traffic yesterday.
Meanwhile, 86 new books hit the fair yesterday.