Sales are starting to look up at the Boi Mela compared to the beginning of the lockdown. More visitors, most wearing face masks, were seen at the book fair premises yesterday given the availability of public transport.
"Most people visiting the stalls today were consulting book catalogues and collecting specific titles", Sajid, an employee of Shobha Prakashani, told The Daily Star.
Large numbers of poetry, novels, and science fiction stories in particular were published for the Boi Mela this year, but most readers are flocking towards books about Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Bangladesh's Liberation War. In general, books on history and heritage are proving most popular this year.
Moidul Hasan's Muldhara '71, Bangabandhu's Unfinished Memoirs, and the latter's Karagarer Rochnamacha and Amar Dekha Noyachin continue to be best sellers at the University Press Ltd (UPL) and Bangla Academy stalls respectively. Books by Professor Fakrul Alam, who has translated Bangabandhu's works, are also selling well.
Other bestsellers include Sardar Fazlul Karim's Darshankosh, Muntasir Mamun's Muktijudhho: Ekattorer Shahittya O Pashchimbanga, Rafat Mishu's Shotoborshe Dhaka Bishwabidyalayer Bangla Bibhag Uchchotar Gobeshonar Ruprekha, and Daily Star Books's Genocide The Wrote, Shongrami Nari '52 O '71, and Kishore Muktijuddho Shamagra.
Sixty nine new books were launched at the book fair yesterday, according to Bangla Academy sources. Among them, 25 were about Bangladesh history and the life of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, including Agamee Prokashani's series on Bangabandhu and the Liberation War, Selina Hossain's Bangabandhu O Muktijuddho Shamagra and Abul Mal Abdul Muhit's Bangabandhu O Muktijuddho (Shomoy Prokashoni), and Mohiuddin Ahmed's Laal Shontrash: Siraj Sikder O Shorbohara Rajneeti (Baatighar). Other notable titles are to be found at Prothoma, Oitijjo Prokashoni, and Anyaprokash.
Some publishers have also released books about life under the pandemic—including Shykh Seraj's Corona Kaale Bohota Jibon and Nasreen Jahan's Ami Tomake Bhalobashi Othoba Corona Karuner Gaan (Anyaprokash), Saifur Rahman's Coronay Shakespeare, Rabindranath, O Annanno (Prokriti Prakashoni), Mohit Kamal's Attar Alap (Biddyaprokash), and many others.