The month-long Amar Ekushey Book Fair, the largest literary event of the country, ended yesterday.
Thousands of booklovers thronged the Bangla Academy and Suhrawardy Udyan premises on the closing day to seize the last opportunity to collect books of their choices.
Publishers and readers expressed satisfaction over the peaceful completion of the fair this year and hoped to join again next year.
Bangla Academy authority arranged a closing ceremony in the evening at the main stage of the fair where Shahida Khatun, member secretary of the fair organising committee, presented the final report of the fair.
She said: “A total of 2,959 new books hit the fair this year. The number was 2963 last year. The total sale amounted to around Tk16crore, of which, Bangla Academy sold books worth around Tk1.10crore.”.
Bangla Academy Director General Shamsuzzaman Khan expressed contentment over the successful completion of the fair. In his welcome speech he thanked everyone, particularly the fair organising committee for its tremendous effort.
He said: “For the first time the fair was extended to Suhrawardy Udyan. Next year the fair arena will be more expanded.”
Cultural Affairs Minister Asaduzzaman Noor said: “It was a challenge for us to arrange the month-long fair. Although the fair was extended to the Suhrawardy Udyan for the first time, with the help of everyone we did it successfully.”
Anisuzzaman, Professor Emeritus at the University of Dhaka and president of Bangla Academy said: “Ekushey Book Fair has become a national festival now. The way people show their love and interest to books through this fair is incredible.”
This year, Maola Brothers, Prothoma Prokashoni and Onnesha Prokashon bagged the Shaheed Munier Chowdhury memorial award for publishing the highest number of quality books.
Bengal Publication’s “Ontordaho” and Pathok Shomabesh’s “Kafka Shomogro” was awarded the Chittaranjan Saha memorial prize for best publications.
The prizes were handed over during the closing ceremony.
A total of 174 new books hit the fair on its last day.
Among them, Shoumitro Shekhar’s “Loko Utshob Nobanno” from Oboshor Prokashona Shongstha, and Kajol Bondopadhdhay’s “Hameshai Danober Trankorta Besh” from Onindo Prokash are mentionable.
A discussion titled “Bangladesher Bishhoykor Artho Shamajik Shafoller Utsho Ebong er Shamprotik Shomoshsha” was held at the central stage of the fair where Dr Forashuddun, former governor of Bangladesh Bank presented the key note paper.
According to the fair organising committee, 345 institutions took part in the book fair this year.