Sporadic rain throughout the day affected turnout at the Ekushey book fair yesterday.
Stalls of publishing houses that opened at 3pm were compelled to close within one and half hours following sudden rain and gusty wind at around 4:30pm.
They had no option but to wrap their books in polythene sheets to protect those from getting wet. At least 50 stalls faced problems as water trickled inside and damaged books because of poor infrastructure, said stall attendants.
“We did not expect more visitors today due to this inclement weather though we hoped to stay open till 9pm,” said Tarana Tabassum Disha, an attendant at the stall of the little magazine “Koradkal”.
Some bookworms, under the shield of umbrellas, were passionate enough to show up.
They later stayed on the corridor of Bangla Academy's new buildings, Bardhaman House and Media Centre.
“I am yet to buy a book from this year's fair, but it was a mistake to come here on such a rainy day” said Mahfuz Sarker, a student of Cumilla University.
Oitijjhya Publication's chief executive Arifur Rahman Nayeem said he had experienced the highest sales in the last three days. Some book lovers showed up yesterday but left after failing to browse books.
“We request Bangla Academy to extend the fair for 3-4 more days to recover our losses due to rain,” he said.
Stalls including Ananya Publication, Srabon, Dibya Prokash, Khan Brothers and Company, Oboshor, Oitijjhya, Shova Prokashoni -- at Suhrawardy Udyan -- kept their stalls open amidst rain.
However, Bangla Academy authorities officially asked publishers to wrap up their stalls within 6pm, considering adverse weather.
When asked, Bangla Academy Public Relations Officer Aparesh Kumar Banerjee said the fair schedule will not be extended and concluding ceremony will be held today.
Meanwhile, a total of 248 new books arrived at the fair yesterday.