8,000 books gone in 4.5hrs
A huge crowd of readers gathered at Rajshahi's Circuit House yesterday, amid a sea of books. The book fair -- Pustak Poth -- did not expect that it would have to welcome so many people.
This whole arrangement was the initiative of a group of school students, who collected 8,000 books from others in the last month to distribute them among residents for free.
And those very books vanished in just four and a half hours.
Hundreds of residents, young and old, stood in long queues to get their books. Not only volunteers, but police also had to help manage the overflowing crowd.
"We're happy to witness the overwhelming response to our idea," said Md Hasin Anjum, one of the organising students.
Everyone was allowed into the fair, but the visitors were asked to collect a maximum of two books and a magazine.
The fair started at 11:00am and was scheduled to end at 5:00pm, but organisers had to end it at 3:30pm, after running out of books.
Four students of different schools -- Hasin, Tasnia Jahim Ahona, Sindid Ahmed and Naima Tasneem Ava -- launched a Facebook group, Mind Castle, in the middle of 2020, when they had to stay indoors due to the pandemic.
"Our initial goal was to read books and bring out an English magazine," Hasin said, adding that they have so far published seven issues of their magazine. They learnt that there was a spot in Canada, where people leave books for others to collect.
"We took the idea," he said, adding that in this journey, students of different schools joined them. They held their first book fair in 2021 at the same spot, where they distributed some 3,000 books.
During the fair, they also distributed books among children of the city's slum areas.