Although the Amar Ekushey Grantha Mela is yet to go in full bloom, bookworms are already scouting the stalls looking for new reading material.
“The year has just started, and I would like to buy new books of my favourite writers and read them for the whole year,” said Prethila, a student from East West University, while browsing books.
Some fair attendees are beginning their hunt by collecting catalogues of new books from different publication houses. Looking at all the lists would help them make their decision on what to buy this year.
“I collect catalogues every year to have the list of new books. It always helps. I mark the books that I want, and later buy those accordingly. However, some of the publications are yet to bring their new catalogue as the fair has just started,” said Mehzabin Ratri, who works at a marketing agency.
While some readers are looking for their favourite writers' new books, others are keen to try fresh books from new authors.
“I like to collect new books of Dr Muhammad Zafar Iqbal sir and if possible, I will have the books autographed by him,” said third-year student from Dhaka University Adnan Hossain, who bought a science fiction titled “Niyan” by the noted author.
On the way in to the fair, Sakil Jaman, who came with her spouse, said, “Last year I did not buy books from new authors. But this year I will. Hopefully, exploring through works of the new authors will be a good experience.”
The number of new books has been increasing at the fair over the years. In 2014, the number was 2,959, which rose to 4,591 last year.
“There are different kinds of readers, and they like different books. Keeping that in mind, we have published books from different genres,” said Monirul Hoque, publisher of Ananya Publications.
Anupam Prokashoni has also brought books focusing on a variety of topics, including Liberation War, essays and science. “Bangaleer Rastrosadhana” by Shamsuzzaman Khan, “Purono Bangla Goddo” by Dr Anisuzzaman and “Srestha Bangaleer Bhashon” by Dr Anwara Begum are among the books from the publication.
New books by publishing house Somoy include “Bhindeshider Muktijuddho” by Muntasir Mamun, “Hridoy Chhoya” by Anisul Hoque and “Bangladesher Rajnoitik Sangkat” by Masuda Bhatti.