The month-long Amar Ekushey Book Fair will end tomorrow which is under way on the premises of Bangla Academy and at the Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka city.
On Thursday, 155 new titles were launched, raising the total number of new titles in this year’s fair to 4,394.
Publishers and visitors often complained this year that the fair had lost its particular charm as a place to celebrate bibliophilia due to too many food shops and stalls for other organisations.
Former government official Harun-Or- Rashid Jammader said, ‘The fair has expanded too much, causing difficulties to find stalls and books. With an expansive food court, it also took the look of a food fair.’
‘I’m confused. Is it book fair or food fair?’ said first-time visitor and North South University second year student Neha Jahan.
She too found the number of stalls overwhelming.
The fair has lost its aura celebrating bibliomania, said Academic and Creative Publisher Association of Bangladesh director and Shova Prokash proprietor Mohammad Mizanur Rahman.
He complained about the expansive food court, lack of parking areas, and other irregularities and mismanagement.
Utsa Prakashani proprietor Mustafa Selim said, ‘The fair is flooded by books by weeds writers.’
Ittadi Grantho Prokash proprietor Johirul Abedin Jewel said, ‘We were not satisfied with our sales this year. Our sales dropped by 40 per cent in comparison to 2019.’
Ananya publishing house proprietor Monirul Hoque said, ‘New quality books are rare. Humayun Ahmed is still the best-selling writer of our house though he died eight years ago.’
Jalal Ahmed, an academy director and member secretary of the fair organising committee, said, ‘The food court has been expanded due to the publishers’ demand.’
‘The fair has been dedicated to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and that is the cause for its aesthetically distinct look.’
‘We have also made some mistakes. We will learn from our mistakes and the next fair will more organised,’ Jalal hoped. (Source: New Age)