Book fair draws huge crowd
Huge crowds marked the second day of the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela yesterday as people waited in long queues to pass police security points to enter the fair compound.
Policemen were kept busy the entire afternoon at the two entry points of the book fair as people poured in at large numbers amidst enthusiasm and curiosity.
The annual book fair is the largest gathering of readers, writers and publishers in the country.
The entrance to the Bangla Academy premises was thronged by booklovers long before the fair opened its gates to the public at 3:00pm.
Around 22 new books -- novels, poetry, history, essay, children's books -- were launched from 15 publications yesterday. Comparatively though, the sales were not as high.
Readers and visitors were seen moving from one stall to another in search of new titles. Many visitors said that they were only here yesterday to have a look and that they would decide on what to buy on subsequent visits.
A large number of fans gathered to seek the new titles by popular writers Humayun Ahmed and Zafar Iqbal. Iqbal's "Muktijudhher Itihash (History of the Liberation War) was published from Pratiti publications while Afsar Brothers published Humayun Ahmed's Priyopadorekha.
Some stalls were seen still under preparation while a few has not been set up as yet. Publishes and writers however said that the large crowd was very encouraging.
The dust on the fair ground was an impediment to the enjoyment of the afternoon and many visitors to the fair also complained about the lack of space to move around as stalls have been erected on both sides of the road this year, unlike last year.
Many visitors also complained that they had to go around in search of stalls as the information centre set up on the fair premises by Bangla Academy was not able to provide them with accurate information about the stalls.
Bangla Academy Director General Syed Muhammad Shahed yesterday sought assistance from all concerned so that the fair runs smoothly this year. He also expressed hope that the few existing problems would be solved by the end of the day as all preparations would be completed by then.
Other books published at the fair yesterday include Okalati and Jajiyoti Jiboner Jalorekha by Mohammad Golam Robbani, Jago Sobai: Gano Bektitto, Nagonno Bekti o Morzadar Rajniti by Dr Robert W Fuller, Purbo Banglar Uponnesh of Mansur Musa, Tagore Ibsen and Other Essays by Muhammad Habibur Rahman and The laughter of a Slave by Shoukat Osman.
Publishers expressed hope that participation of readers would increase day by day while readers said that they hoped that the authorities would take strict steps to avoid the irregularities and incidents that occurred last year.