Poetry, novels dominate numbers
With poetry leading the tally of new arrivals, a total of 2,340 new titles hit the stalls in the first 15 days of the monthlong Amar Ekushey Grantha Mela this year, the highest at the halfway mark in last five years.
In the first 15 days of previous editions, the fair saw a total of 2,271 books last year, 1,771 in 2017, 2,076 in 2018 and 1,705 titles in 2016, according to statistics of the fair information centre.
According to this year's numbers, 684 poetry books were followed by 382 novels, 316 short stories, 126 essays, 103 children's books, 83 books on Liberation War, 76 biographies, 73 books on Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and 50 books on history.
Publishers are unveiling an increasing number of books, as most of them have already seen a boom in sales," said Osman Gani, former president of Academic and Creative Publishers Association of Bangladesh.
He said his publication house Agamee Prakashani has already published at least 100 new books, including books on Liberation War, Bangabandhu and research.
"Number of books would increase as most publishers would bring more book targeting February 21 [international Mother language Day]," he added.
A stall attendant of Bayanno said booklovers are buying poetry books in large numbers.
"We have witnessed bumper sales of a poetry book written by prominent lyricist Marzuk Russellm" said Touhidur Rahman.
According to fair authorities, The fair saw publication of only five books on political affairs, six on religion, 41 science fictions, 45 on science, 23 translations and 45 books on research so far.
Farid Ahammed, publisher of Somoy Prokashoni, told The Daily Star that titles of science fiction were 10-15 some five to seven years ago, but the number is increasing every year.
"It is difficult to get adequate and quality manuscripts on science fictions, compared to books on poetry or novels," he said
Farid said his publication has published three science fictions including a book of popular author Muhammed Zafar Iqbal, out of their at least 50 published books so far.
Asked about the low number of books on politics, Osman Gani said many publishers have published political analysis on Liberation War, and also published books on Bangabandhu, which have not directly been included under the category.
"That is why the number is seen to be low," he added.
Apart from poetry and prose fiction, a large number of university students are also keen to buy books on research, and that is why books on research are also on increase.
"I have published three books on research from different publications this year," said young writer Mehedi Ullah.
"The recent one titled 'Lokochara, Okhhayan Totter Aloke' has been published from Oitijho," said Mehedi, a teacher of folklore department at Jatiyea Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University in Mymensingh.
Meanwhile, the fair grounds at Bangla Academy and adjoining Suhrawrady Uddyan saw a huge gathering of booklovers yesterday.