You can hear the hammering of nails from one end, while canes and sticks are being cut on the other. There are floors being polished, name plaques being installed, and people running around to set up their stalls for Amar Ekushey Boi Mela at Suhrawardy Udyan and Bangla Academy premises.
The scale and scope of the fair is larger this year, hence this preparation period is busier, with hundreds of workers setting up stalls. Art directors were seen at the site alongside publishers during a visit on Monday.
There will be 34 pavilions at the fair, which are almost complete, workers said.
“I have been visiting every afternoon to look after the stall instalment work, as we have to complete it before February 2,” said Sharif, publisher of Shobdoshilpo publication.
Aslam, a worker, said he has been setting up book fair stalls for the last 15 years. “I quite like this work... we start in the morning and often work till the evening,” he said.
A total of 322 publications are going to participate in the book fair this year. Seeking anonymity, a publisher told this correspondent, “Readers might find it difficult to navigate through so many stalls. They won’t be able to browse the entire fair.”
Like other years, there will be a zone dedicated for children at Suhrawardy Udyan. “Lekhak Mancha” will be organised for the second time this year as well.