One of the refreshing sights of the Ekushey Grantha Mela is seeing people of all ages with diverse interests, coming together with one thing common among them: the love of reading. And the country's biggest book fair doesn't disappoint; from illustrated fables for children to the most serious political discourse -- it's hard to find a topic on which there is no book at the fair.
Yesterday being a weekend, people came in droves, many of them with families -- to spend a day surrounded by books.
“I bought books for my school-going daughter Anusha and my son Tridib. They like illustrated books, so I bought them those,” said Zakir Hossain, a businessman who also bought an anthology of Kazi Nazrul Islam for himself.
“Besides, I also bought books for my wife who loves to read books of Humayun Ahmed,” said Zakir with a smile, as his wife Sultana Zaman stood next to him.
Flanked by her parents, five-year-old Tuli was seen visibly enthralled carrying books on rhymes and ghost stories at the Suhrawardy Udyan.
“I will share the stories with my friends from school and scare them,” said Tuli, bursting out laughing while taking to this correspondent.
Tuli's mother Fahmida Yesmin was pleasantly stumped by her daughter's plans, and said, “My daughter loves ghost stories. She was nagging me to buy her one. Therefore, we planned to visit the book fair on the weekend and buy books for all of us.”
Fahmida and her husband Akash, both private job holders, chose books by Syed Shamsul Haque and Ahmed Sofa respectively.
Keeping in mind the readers' age groups, publishers have also diversified their catalogue.
Md Afzal Hossain, publisher of Anindya Prokash, said, “We have books on different genres. People from all ages come to our pavilion, and therefore we publish books for all ages.”
Meanwhile, 218 new books hit the fair on the ninth day.