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Knowledge combines with love at book fair

Sardar Mahabbat Ali

A huge weekend crowd throng Amar Ekushey Book Fair in Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka on Friday. — New Age photo
 A huge weekend crowd throng Amar Ekushey Book Fair in Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka on Friday. — New Age photo

The Amar Ekushey Book Fair on Friday reached a new height, with knowledge being combined with the message of universal love on Valentine Day. 
Holiday crowd and brimming number of enthusiast couples were found swarming the fair venues, inside the Bangla Academy and its extended part at Suhrawardy Udyan, to share their love through favourite books on the day that also witnessed the highest number of titles so far hitting the stalls.
Opened at 11:00am, the whole area of the book fair turned into a mini human sea by the evening.
‘Flowers symbolise loveliness and books show holiness through knowledge,’ said a Dhaka University student Mahmudul Hasan, who came to the fair with his girlfriend.
Coming from the capital’s Mohammadpur with his four-year kid and wife, Md Selim Bhuiyan expressed his satisfaction over visiting the fair on that special day with his beloved family.
‘We had a plan to visit the fair on this day as it is also a public holiday,’ he said.
The publishers and participants also had a hectic day, dealing with so huge a number of visitors pouring into the fair ground.
The sale of children’s books was also quite satisfactory, stall attendants said.  
‘The sale has been good so far,’ Anya Prakash press and media coordinator Mojjammel Hauqe Shishir said.
Titles of Humayun Ahmed, Anisul Haque, Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, Al Mahmud, Nirmalendu Goon, Syed Shamsul Haque, Asad Chowdhury and Zakir Talukder, among others, sold good on the day. 
A total of 196 new titles hit the fair on the day. Collections of poetry and novel with 45 titles each led the tally followed by 34 story books and 12 collections of essays.
Also 10 new books were unveiled at Nazrul Mancha.
The academy held a children’s music competition in the morning. Also a seminar on Haji Muhammad Mohsin held in the afternoon.
Amzad Hossain read out the keynote paper at the function, chaired by Dhaka University vice-chancellor AAMS Arefin Siddique.
A cultural function was held later on.
Today the fair will hold the second Shishu Prahar between 10:00am and 3:00pm. The final round of children’s general knowledge and extempore speech competition will be held this morning. 
Also discussion on Lalon Shah will be held in the afternoon at the main stage of the fair. Golam Faroque and Shaktinath Jha will read out the keynote paper while Pabitra Sarker will preside over the occasion.
A cultural programme will follow the seminar.
The fair is open from 3:00pm to 8:30pm on working day. On public holiday, it remains open from 11:00am till 8:30pm with a break from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. 

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