The number of collection of poems published in Ekushey Book Fair increased in the past three years though publishers and poets said the quality of the publications was falling for not maintaining professionalism.
Till Tuesday, 2,662 books were launched this year so far. Among them, 758 were collections of poems, followed by 422 novels, 351 stories, 140 essays, 50 research books, 51 rhymes, 115 children’s books, 82 biographies, 99 books on Liberation War, 14 plays, 54 books on science, 48 travelogues, 57 books on history, six books on politics, 17 books on health. There are also 80 books on country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, 20 on satires, 10 on religion, 30 translations, five dictionaries, 44 science-fictions and 162 books on other different categories.
In 2019, 4,685 books were launched in the entire fair. Among which 1,555 were collections of poems.
In 2018, the total number of books published in the fair was 4,591. Among those, 1,472 were collections of poems.
In 2017, 3,646 books were launched in the entire fair. Among which 1, 122 were collection of poems.
Monirul Hoque, publisher of Ananya Prakashani, said that they had brought 20 collections of poems this year but he was very worried about the quality of the poems. ‘It is not an easy task for anyone to write poems. One has to describe a thousand words in two lines,’ he said.
Monirul said that sales of the collection of poems were very low because of the quality. ‘We have published books by Mahadev Saha, Farid Kabir and Eraj Ahmed but their sales are not satisfactory’, he said.
Dipanakar Das, publisher of Batighar Prakashani, said that they had brought some quality collection of poems at the fair.
He said publishers often publish volumes of poems written by their known people without taking their quality into consideration. He expected that the media and the Bangla Academy should promote good books.
Jatyia Kabita Parishad general secretary Tarik Sujat said, ‘A poet should go for publishing a book after a lot of practice. Renowned poets like Shamsur Rahman started writing in newspapers and little magazine. He published his books much later.’
He said that the trend of new generation to publish books first was not good. ‘Many fresh writers are publishing books at their own cost and most of the publishers are not selecting manuscript in a professional way,’ he said adding that such practices leave way for publishing books without editing.
The Bangla Academy held a press conference at its Munier Choudhury conference room on the overall fair situation.
The academy director general Habibullah Siraji and filmmaker cum architect Enamul Karim Nirjhor spoke at the conference.
‘We are very happy to see that Amar Dekha Naya Chin by Bangabandhu got immense response from the book lovers’, said Habibullah Siraji.
‘Bangla Academy sold books worth Tk 1 crore and 10 lakhs till February 17 which is Tk 4,74,176 more than the sales in same period of the previous year’, Siraji added.
A discussion was held on a book titled ‘Bangabandhu Ekti Lal Golap’ edited by Minar Mansur and Dilwar Chowdhury. Poet Aminur Rahman Sultan presented the keynote paper at the event, presided over by Sampad Barua.
Poets and writers recited poems and singers sang popular songs.
The fair remains open from 3:00pm till 9:00pm on weekdays.
On holidays and weekends, the fair remains open from 11:00am till 9:00pm.
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