Every publisher eagerly waits for the book fair. Because most of their books are published in book fairs. The month-long Amar Ekushe Book Fair will come down on Tuesday (February 28). This fair of life of book lovers and writers-publishers will end. Publishers and sellers are expecting record book sales at the Amar Ekushey Book Mela 2023, overcoming the slump of the last two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
On Monday afternoon, the fairgrounds were crowded. At the start of the fair, the line at the security gate reached almost up to TSC. Entering the Suhrawardy Udyan area with great difficulty, it is seen that the fair has already gathered at 3:30 in the afternoon. The salesmen are busy supplying the books as per the demand of the readers.
Talked to Ayesha Rimu who came to the fair. He said, ‘The fair has come to an end. Could not come to the fair this year due to busy schedule. Fair again after a year. So I came to the fair after finishing the class. He also said, ‘The crowd of people is high as the fair is at the end. Huge line at the entrance. Go inside and see the dusty desert. At least it was necessary to sprinkle water thinking about today.’
However, there were more visitors than buyers at the fair, said Mohammad Mostakim, a seller of heritage publications. He said, ‘The fair is ending for the next one year. Many are coming to visit the fair for the last time. What is to be bought, has already been bought. So the last two days (Monday and Tuesday) are more visitors than buyers’.
On the other hand, due to the absence of natural disasters and due to the fair being held at the right time, the sales volume this year will be higher than the previous years. They said that due to the epidemic, the fairs of 2021 and 2022 were not held in full and on time. As a result, losses had to be calculated. Again, this fair was not affected by natural disasters like storms and rains. So the sales volume will be more than last two years. Overall, they expect record sales compared to any previous year.
Incidentally, books worth Tk 31.1 million were sold in 2021 during the height of the epidemic and Tk 52.5 million in 2022 when the outbreak of the epidemic decreased a little. However, in 2020, Bangla Academy said that books worth about Tk 82 crore were sold under normal circumstances. As such, the sales amount this year may exceed 100 crore rupees, according to the people related to the fair.
The fair will continue on the concluding day on Tuesday from 3 pm to 9 pm. Bangla Academy Director General Kavi Muhammad Nurul Huda will address the closing ceremony at 5 pm. The report will be presented by the member-secretary of ‘Amar Ekushey Book Fair 2023’. KM Mujahidul Islam. Minister of State for Cultural Affairs K. will be present as the chief guest. M. Khalid. Secretary of the Ministry of Culture will be present as a special guest. Abul Mansur. President of Bangla Academy and eminent fiction writer Selina Hossain will preside. On the occasion of ‘Syed Waliullah Literary Award 2022’, ‘Kabi Jasimuddin Literary Award 2023’ and Amar Ekushe Book Fair 2023, various meritorious memorial awards will be presented.
At the closing ceremony, the ‘Chittaranjan Saha Smriti Award-2023’ will be awarded to the next publication for publishing the highest number of books of subject and quality published in 2022. Also in the category of best book in artistic and quality judgment among books published in 2022, Journeyman Books Publications for publication of ‘Bichinna Bhavana’ by Ahmad Rafique, Heritage Publications for the book ‘Bangla Academy Amar Bangla Academy’ by Mohammad Harun-ur-Rashid and ‘Thar’ by Habibur Rahman. Munir Chowdhury Memorial Award 2023 will be awarded to Panjeri Publications Ltd. Mayurpankhi will be awarded the ‘Roknuzzaman Khan Dadabhai Smriti Award-2023’ for publishing the most quality-judged children’s books published in 2022. Puthiniloy (Pavilion), Navanna Publications (2-4 units) and Udki (1 unit) will be awarded ‘Shilpi Qayyum Chowdhury Smriti Puraskar 2023’ among the publishing houses participating in the 2023 Amar Ekushe Book Fair as the best in aesthetic decoration. In the evening there will be a closing cultural program at Suhrawardy Udyan.