People of all strata flocked to the Book Fair on the premises of Bangla Academy and at the Suhrawardy Udyan with the spirit of Amar Ekushey ahead of the 'Shaheed Dibash' and the International Mother Language Day on February 21.
The month-long book fair that began February 1 drew huge crowds on Monday soaring sales of books on different genres of literature and other areas of knowledge.
The stall attendants were seen busy dealing with the visitors and big smiles flashed on the face of the publishers as the crowds thronged different stalls and pavilions.
Paying glowing tributes to the memories of valiant sons of the soil who made supreme sacrifices to establish rights of the mother tongue, Bangla, in 1952, bookworms, authors and publishers said Amar Ekushey book fair has turned into a gathering of the people.
They said the spirit of Amar Ekushey was immense inspiration of all Banglaees, which eventually encourage to gear up different movements of our history that were related to struggles of birth of Bangladesh.
Ekushey is the symbol of our democratic values, Bangali nationalism, spirit of liberation struggle and secularism. The Amar Ekushey book fair touch hearts and minds of all Bangalis with this spirit awakening their profound love for their mother tongue, booklovers told the news agency.
Over 300 new books for children have arrived at the Amar Ekushey Granthamela-2018 till February 18.
Children mainly crowded different stalls and many of them were seen buying books on fairy tales, ghosts, puzzles, alphabets, cartoons and comics.
They said generally, children like those books, which have colorful and impressive illustration.
They also laid emphasis on child-friendly content to encourage them in reading more books as now-a-days they are largely habituated to using technology. Bangla Academy sources said a total of 2,571 books of different genres of literature and branches of knowledge were brought to the book fair till February 17.
Necessary security arrangements were there with the installation of 250 closed circuit camera televisions (CCTVs) in and around the Bangla Academy complex. The law enforcers have been deployed in large numbers to ensure foolproof security.
The book fair will remain open for all from 3pm to 9pm on working days and 11am to 9pm on government holidays with a one-hour break for lunch and offering prayers. It will continue till February 28.
Two main entry gates have been erected at Teacher-Students' Centre (TSC) of Dhaka University and Doyel Chattar.
Poets and writers from 15 countries will join the International Literature Conference, 2018 to be held on February 22-23.
A total of 800 stalls including 670 book stalls, 150 stalls of little magazines and some stalls of different socio-cultural organizations have been set up in the book fair covering an area of 1.50 lakh square feet. Bangla Academy will publish 146 new books this year.
The authorities for the first time have included the Swadhinata Stambha (Independence Monument) at the Suhrawardy Udyan as part of the book fair.
A mancha (stage) for holding publication ceremonies and programme on unveiling covers of the books has been erected at the Suhrawardy Udyan while discussions and seminars will be held every day on the main mancha on the Bangla Academy premises.-BSS