Publishers bullish on sales and visitor flow

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Bangla Academy’s information officer, Rajib Kumar Saha, told TBS that 18 new books were released on Wednesday.

February 16, 2022, 10:05 p.m.

Last modification: February 17, 2022, 10:18 a.m.

Photo: Salahuddin Ahmed/TBS

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Photo: Salahuddin Ahmed/TBS

Visitor flow and sales have started to pick up at the Ekushey book fair which kicked off on Tuesday amid Covid-19 concerns, booksellers said.

Kathaprakash editor Jasim Uddin told The Business Standard there has been a strong reaction from buyers. He said he sold 50 books in a few hours the first day.

“Today we hope to sell double the previous day,” he said.

He expressed hope that the sale of books would be more compared to other fairs if the fair was extended until March 17.

Samarpan Publishing salesman Atiqur Rahman said he had attended the fair for four years. He sold 30 books on the first day even though the flow of visitors remained low for the first few days. But sales picked up momentum after the holidays.

Arafat Hossain, a student from Narayanganj, said he came to buy books if he found any of his choice. But he would come back after a few days to buy the books he selects now.

Tapan Sarker, who works at the High Court, told TBS that he usually buys books worth Tk3,000-4,000 at every book fair. He bought five books on Wednesday. He would return with his family after a few days when the book fair got bigger.

Bangla Academy information officer Rajib Kumar Saha told TBS that 18 new books were released on Wednesday. Usually, the number of new books increases after five to seven days of the fair, and writers release the most books during the holidays.

During a visit to the fair, it was found that the police warn visitors of the sanitary rules. Visitors are given hand sanitisers at the main gates and no one is allowed to enter the fair without a mask.

According to the calendar, the fair will be held from February 15 to February 28 and will remain open from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. for visitors.

On weekends and public holidays, the fair will open at 11 a.m. and the only exception will be February 21, when it opens at 8 a.m.

Bangla Academy sources said that the total space for the Boi Mela in the premises of Bangla and Suhrawardy Udyan Academy this year is around 7 lakh square feet. No less than 102 publishing houses were allocated booths in the premises of the Bangla Academy and 432 in Suhrawardy Udyan.

Bangla Academy published and reprinted 107 books this year. The Bangla Academy and other publishing houses will sell books at a 25% discount. The publishers have asked to extend the fair until March 17.

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