The month-long Amar Ekushey Book Fair ends today two days before the scheduled time amid the COVID-19 surge.
On Sunday, several stalls were found closed while few were taking their preparations for packing up as they had hardly any visitor on the day.
A total of 47 new books were launched on Sunday and the total number of the new titles rose to 2,576 so far.
Collections of poems lead the entire tally and the number is 869.
The number of new titles is around half of the books published last year while the figure was 4,919.
The fair began on March 18 at Suhrawardy Udyan and Bangla Academy, and was scheduled to end on April 14.
Many publishers and stall attendants said that they were frustrated and they would not attend any fair in future if that would be arranged in March instead of February.
Some publishers said that the sales would not drop if Dhaka University halls were open.
They also said that the fair lost its attraction for the repeated changes in its schedule and fair hours.
Academic and Creative Publishers’ Association of Bangladesh president Farid Ahmed said, ‘Though the fair is very close to our heart, we give our entire effort to make it vibrant. The country’s COVID-19 situation and nature did not favour us this year.’
Mohammd Ibrahim Khan, manager of Royal Publisher, said, ‘We did not sale a single book till 4:30pm today. We are packing up our things. I think that the last day will not be a different one. We sold books worth about only Tk 30,000 this year.’
Publishers and book sellers brought allegations of mismanagement against the Bangla Academy authorities for management in stall distribution and arrangements.
The debate over relocation of Little Magazine Chatter from the fair’s usual location was one of the much-talked-about issues.
However, the stalls at the children’s corner suffered losses more than stalls and pavilions owner.
The academy did not give permission to children hour due to rise in COVID-19 infections as the children hour brought more parents and children on holidays and huge sales.
This year’s theme is based on the country’s 50 years of independence and the birth centenary of the founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
This year, 834 units have been allocated to 540 publishing houses and organisations to facilitate sale of books and other publications.
The authorities have allotted 154 units on the Bangla Academy premises to 107 organisations and 680 units in the Suhrawardy Udyan to 433 organisations.
Title - Author - Type - Publishing House
Anisuzzaman: Kaler Samiksha - Abul Ahsan Choudhury - Research - Shobha Prakash
Sangskriti Rajniti O Naba Bastabata - Shamsuzzaman Khan - Collection of articles - Mowla Brothers
Kritadas Jiban - Sumon Tinku - Collection of poems - Bhashachitra
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