National Book Centre and Department of Public Libraries have jointly initiated a weeklong book fair at Central Public Library, Shahbagh in the capital. The fair was inaugurated on April 27 by Professor Emeritus Anisuzzmana. Cultural Minister Asaduzzaman Noor was also present at the inaugural session. Five government and forty six private organizations are taking part in this year’s book festival. This book fair builds on organizations located in the division of Dhaka. This trend was started in 2013. Later book fairs were taken to the district level. But before 2013 Dhaka Book Centre used to organise the annual Dhaka International Book Fair, which has since not been held.
In his inaugural speech Anisuzzaman drew attention to the suspended Dhaka International Book Fair. He said that such kind of book fair is essential for connecting Bangladeshi literature with world literature. He urged that the international annual festival should be restarted. He also claimed that any restart would benefit all parties, both stakeholders-sponsors and literary enthusiasts.
Book fairs of any kind however inspire book reading habits among the general mass. In the digital age E-Books are becoming abundant. But in spite of that the feel of physical books will not die out, Anisuzzaman added.
Cultural Minister Asaduzzaman Noor said, “In the present era in our country children are burdened with too much books at schools. Thus they do not find enough opportunity to read books outside of their prescribed book list. Without the habit of reading books a citizen can not develop his or her cultural taste.”