It was a delightful extravaganza exactly after one-year as thousands of booklovers of all ages flocked to the Amar Ekushey Granthamela- 2018 that began yesterday on the premises of Bangla Academy and its adjoining Suhrawardy Udyan in the city.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the traditional month-long "Ekushey Grantha Mela" (book fair) with a call to give due honour to the country's own art, culture, language and literature.
The book fair will bring together booklovers, authors, publishers and the people of different professions besides poets and writers from 15 foreign countries.
At the same function, the premier also launched a two-day International Literature Conference 2018, and handed over prizes among the winners of 'Bangla Academy Sahitya Puroshkar 2017'.
The winners are: Mohammad Sadik and Maruful Islam (poetry), Mamun Hossain (fiction), Professor Mahbubul Haque (essay), Professor Rafiqullah Khan (research), Aminur Rahman Bhuiyan (translation), Kamrul Hasan Bhuiyan and Surma Jahid (literature on Liberation War), Shakur Majid (travelogue), Maloy Bhoumik (drama), Moshtak Ahmed (science, technology and environment) and Jharna Dash Purokayshto (juvenile literature).
United Kingdom writer and poet Ignis Mirose, Cameroonian writer Dr Joyce Ashuntantang, Egyptian Poet Ibrahim Elmasi and Swedish writer Arli Johnson also spoke on the occasion.
Necessary security arrangements have already been completed 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 installed 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 separate gate has been made for entrance of the writers and poets into the Suhrawardy Udyan.
Generally, booklovers, authors, publishers and the people of different professions wait for the book fair, reports BSS.