Musings of wordsmiths
With Ekushey February, the Boi Mela (book fair) at Bangla Academy is drawing to a close. The Daily Star caught up with three of the leading writers and educationists of the country. Here's what they had to say about the book fair:
Twelve books by National Professor Kabir Chowdhury are available at the ongoing Ekhusey Book Fair. Among the books are: a collection of essays "Many Colours: Aeschylus to Syed Waliullah" (published from Adorn Publication); translations "Tushar" (Orhan Pamuk's "Snow"), "Nirbachito Pamuk" (published from Vidha Prakash), "Joubon-er Golpo" (original by South African writer John Maxwell Coetzee and published from Samoy Prokashoni) and "Lauho Manab" (Coetzee's "The Age of Iron").
Chowdhury says, "I always try to go to the book fair, though now it is very difficult to browse books in an overcrowded atmosphere. My suggestion is that the fair needs to be expanded.”
Professor Zillur Rahman Siddiqui's collection of essays, "Rochona-Tritio Khando" (published from Ananya) is now available at the boi mela.
About the fair, the scholar says, "The space is hardly adequate, considering the stature of this month-long event. The current atmosphere is not at all favourable either. I did not go to the fair this year. Last year, I went there once. The main intention should be to bring the bookworms in the vicinity of books. In Kolkata, prior to the book fair, reviews are published in daily newspapers, magazines and journals. Consequently, interest in new publications is generated among the readers. Our newspapers publish lists of latest books but there are not enough reviews. Readers are not provided with sufficient information that would help them make smarter choices. An average reader only buys books by popular writers.
Latest editions of Professor Sirajul Islam Chowdhury's books are available at the ongoing Ekushey Book Fair. A collection of essays, "Probandha Shamagra-Panch" (published from Bidya Prakash); Lincoln-er Bishonno Mukh" (published from Annesha); an autobiography, "Dui Jatra-e Ek Jatri" (published from Pearl Publication) and "Homer-er Odyssey” (published from Annesha) are books written by Chowdhury that are available at the book fair.
About the book fair, Sirajul Islam Chowdhury says, "The fair should definitely be expanded. Shops that are not selling books at the fair are a strange phenomenon. It looks like a run of the mill market. People, who don't seem interested in books at all, come here with their families and friends."