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Books worth 600m sold at Ekushey Book Fair

Books worth 600m sold at Ekushey Book Fair

The month-long 'Amar Ekushey Book Fair 2024' – the country's largest book fair – concluded on Saturday (Mar 2), and the 31-day fair is estimated to have sold books worth Tk 600m crore and six million visitors. "As per the provisional data, books worth Tk 600 million, which is 27.65 percent higher than the previous year's 470m, were sold in the 31-day Fair till Mar 1 which will be increased after adding the data of the closing day", Bangla Academy Deputy Director (Administration sub-division) Dr Sahed Mantaj said at the closing ceremony of the book fair at the Bangla Academy premoises in the afternoon. On behalf of KM Muzahidul Islam, member secretary of Ekushey Book Fair Organising Committee, Dr Sahed Mantaj presented the sales report of this year at the closing ceremony, local media reported.

"To get a sense of the total sales, the Bangla Academy carries out a survey towards the end of the fair. Although we do not get an exact number but can come up with an estimate. This year's sales have exceeded expectations," said Mantaj, adding, "According to Archway calculations, 60 lakh visitors have come to this year's book fair till March 1".

Book sales last year totaled Tk 47 crore, compared to Tk 52.50 crore in 2022 while the sales plummeted to Tk 3.11 crore in 2021 due to the pandemic after the 2020 edition raked in Tk 82 crore.

The Prime Minister's advisor on education and culture, Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury addressed the closing ceremony as chief guest while State Minister for Cultural Affairs Nahid Izhar Khan, attended the function as the guest of honor.

Ministry of Culture secretary Khalil Ahmed addressed it as the special guest while Director General of Bangla Academy poet Mohammad Nurul Huda gave the address of welcome on the occasion, chaired by Bangla Academy President Selina Hossain.

A total of 3,751 news books were published in the book fair which was 3,730 in 2023, 3,416 in 2022, 2,640 in 2021 and 4,919 books in 2020.

In the fair, poetry volumes seem to rule as 1,262 poetry books out of the total 3,751 books were released so far while novel books came second with the publications of 544 books, while story books in third position so far with the publications of 531 books, the Bangla Academy sources said. Of those, books of essays got fourth position with 233 publications while biographies were fifth with 134 publications.

Besides, 106 rhymes books, 76 researches, 69 Liberation War related books, 64 history books, 71 children novels, 64 travel books, 61 translations, 44 science books, 36 science fictions, 29 compositions, 33 books on religions, 31 comics, 34 dramas, 27 about Bangabandhu, 29 books on politics, 29 books on health, and 19 dictionaries related books were released in this fair so far along with 222 books on other categories.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina opened the month-long book fair on the premises of the Bangla Academy and the Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital on Feb 1.

Book fair authorities allotted 937 units and 37 pavilions to 635 publishing houses and organizations which were 901 stalls in favour of 601 organisations last year.

The fair was initially slated to end on Feb 29, but the organisers decided to extend it till Mar 2.

Bangla Academy distributed awards in four categories to eight publishing houses where Kothaprokash has been given Chittaranjan Saha Smriti Puraske-2024 for publishing a maximum number of quality books in terms of subject and quality.

Besides, Prothoma Prokashon, JourneymanBooks and Oitijjho Publication have been given Munier Chowdhury Sriti Purasker for publishing best books in terms of artistic and quality.

Moyurpakhi Publication has been given Rokonuzzaman Khan Dadabhai Smriti Purasker for publishing the highest number of quality books for kids while Annyaprokash Prokasani, Nymphea Publication and Bengal Books Prokasani received Qayyum ChowdhurySmriti Purasker for best interior designs which were aesthetically rich among the participating publishing houses.