Booklovers swarm Boi Mela
Thousands of booklovers yesterday thronged the Bangla Academy premises after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the month-long Amar Ekushey Boi Mela 2011 and left the fair.
Nobel laureate and noted economist Amartya Sen attended the inaugural session as the guest of honour, glorifying the event.
The premier along with the state guest Amartya Sen visited different bookstalls and talked to different publishers.
Earlier, several thousand visitors were waiting in long queues for a few hours to enter the fair.
Abu Ashraf Emon along with his friends waited in a queue for one and a half hours to get inside the premises. He said, "This is the largest cultural festival of our country. I did not want to miss the first day of it."
The academy premises were also ready to welcome the visitors as most of the publication houses and organisations had already displayed their books in their respective stalls.
Eminent writer and columnist Syed Abul Maqsood also did not miss the first day. Visiting the premises, he expressed satisfaction over decoration of stalls and the overall management.
"The publishers and academy authorities have become successful this year to add an aesthetic look to stall decoration and premises," he said. He expressed the hope of month-long good participation of readers, visitors, publishers and writers.
The sellers also looked vibrant in their stalls as they found a good number of booklovers as soon as the fair was opened for public.
"We have sold around 40 books in 30 minutes. It is really encouraging and I hope we will get a big crowd throughout the month," said Shaheen of Anupam publication.
However, a number of stalls both inside the premises and on the road outside were not ready yesterday. Officials of the stalls said they were doing the last-minute decoration and would be ready by today.
Like the previous years, visitors were disturbed by dust on the first day as many were seen walking with hands on their mouth.
The authorities have installed an e-centre where visitors would get information about new books and other facilities on large screens.