Publishing houses are preparing for the upcoming Ekushey Book Fair 2021 in hopes to recover losses incurred due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
They have begun printing books that will be published in the month-long book fair, which is organised annually by Bangla Academy on its premises and Suhrawardy Udyan in February memorialising the historic Language Movement of 1952.
The book fair in February 2021 will be arranged following the health guidelines set by the World Health Organisation, said Bangla Academy director general Habibullah Shiraji. He also added that the academy has held a meeting with publishing houses and Academic and Creative Publishers Association of Bangladesh regarding the Ekushey Book Fair 2021 in the first week of September.
‘Bangla Academy held a meeting with the Academic and Creative Publishers Association of Bangladesh and other publishers in the first week of September. The upcoming Ekushey Book Fair 2021 will be organised following the health guidelines set by WHO. The academy has invited expression of interest from publishers,’ said Habibullah Shiraji.
‘We are closely monitoring the COVID-19 crisis. We will reduce the number of stalls and there will be a lot of space between the stalls to ensure the health safety of the visitors. We will hold a meeting in January regarding the book fair and finalise the number of stalls and health guidelines,’ he added.
After the Ekushey Book Fair 2020 ended, Bangla Academy officials said that books worth Tk 82 crore were sold and the academy itself sold books worth Tk 2.28 crore.
President of Academic and Creative Publishers Association of Bangladesh and owner of Somoy Prakashan Farid Ahmed told New Age that publishers are looking forward to Ekushey Book Fair 2021.
‘Publishers have been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak. Many are looking forward to participating in the upcoming Ekushey Book Fair 2021 so that they can recover losses incurred due to the coronavirus crisis,’ said Farid Ahmed.
‘Somoy Prakashan plans to publish between 50 and 60 new books in the upcoming book fair,’ he added.
Dipankar Das, the owner of Baatighar Publication, said that his publishing house will publish 35 new books in the Ekushey Book Fair 2021.
‘Baatighar Publication has been participating in the Ekushey Book Fair since 2016. We are ready to participate in Ekushey Book Fair 2021 following health guidelines issued by the Bangla Academy. The publishing house will publish 35 new books at the book fair. We will make a profit if the book fair runs smoothly throughout February,’ said Dipankar Das.
Anyoprokash, one of the popular publishing houses of Bangladesh, has been participating in Ekushey Book Fair since 1997. Its CEO Mazharul Islam said that Anyoprokash is looking forward to publishing nearly 70 new books at the upcoming book fair.
‘Though we published 100 new books at the Ekushey Book Fair 2020, we will publish almost 70 books at the upcoming fair due to the COVID-19 outbreak. We will publish approximately 30 books on Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with 40 new books penned by prominent and seasoned writers namely Hasnat Abdul Hye, Imdadul Haq Milan, Selina Hossain, Syed Manzoorul Islam, Sumonto Aslam, Nisho Al Mamun, Bishwajit Ghosh and others,’ said Mazharul Islam.
Saikat Habib, the owner of Prokriti, hopes that Bangla Academy will reduce stall fee as the publishing industry is reeling under COVID-19 impact.
‘The publishing houses have been hit hard by COVID-19 outbreak. So I urge Bangla Academy to reduce stall fee. We will publish between 15 and 20 new books at the book fair,’ said Saikat Habib.
Rajib Che, the owner of Chaitanya Prokashoni, said his publishing house will also offer new books online during the Ekushey Book Fair 2021.
‘We have been participating in the Ekushey Book Fair for the last five years. We will publish more than 50 new books at the upcoming Ekushey Book Fair. We will also offer our books online.’
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