Amor Ekushey Book Fair is widely known as Ekushey book fair in our country; it is one of the most traditional fairs of independent Bangladesh. Every the fair held throughout February at the premises of Bardhaman House and its surrounded area. Since 2014, the fair also has expanded into the Sohrawardi ground.
On 21st February 1952 a tragic incident happened to dedicate lives of many people for Bengali language, to keep the refresh the fair arranged in this month is named ‘Amor Ekushey Book Fair’.
The history of the fair is as ancient as the history of independence. As far as it is known, Chittaranjan Saha started the Fair on 8th February 1972 by displaying 32 books on a mat at the premises of the Bardhaman House of Dhaka University. These books were published by the Sadhin Bangla Literary Society (now Muktodhara Publication) established by Chittaranjan Saha and written by Bangladeshi refugees. These books were the first contribution of independent Bangladeshi publication industry. He ran the book fair alone from 1972 to 1976. Many others inspired in 1976. In 1978, Director General of Bangla Academy Ashraf Siddiki involved Bangla Academy directly with the fair. Bangladesh Book Sellers and Publishers Association got themselves involved with the fair in 1979; the association is also established by Chittaranjan Saha. In 1983 Director General of Bangla Academy Kazi Monjur-Maola first organized ‘Amor Ekushey Book Fair’. But two students were killed for running truck over them at the time of Anti-Ershad protest in front of the Education Building. After the pathetic incident book fair couldn’t be done that year. The current ‘Amor Ekushey Book Fair began in 1984. The small fair of 32 books now has become the most enriched and traditional book fair of Bengali language. For the accommodation problem, the fair has been expanded into Suhrawardi ground since 2014. This year, 232 publishers of 299 have been allotted in the Sohrawardi Ground. 240 publishers in 2002 and highest 425 publishers were participating in 2012.
Several years ago the fair used to hold regularly from the first to 21st February. But after the demand of Buyer, visitors and sellers the fair holds until the last day of February. As leap year comes after every four years, so on that year the book far ends on 29th of February. The Ministry of Cultural Affairs of Government of Bangladesh controls the fair. The publisher’s stools were divided into the Publisher’s area, Publisher-Seller area, Child Corner, Governmental and Non-Governmental Institutions and Little Magazine. Besides the fair is divided in the name of language martyrs Rafiq, Salam, Jabbar, Shafiur, Barkat, Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam, Dr. Muhammad Sahidullah, Abdul Karim and some other literary scholars. Not only the renowned publishers of the country, but also the booksellers of different countries like India, Russia, Japan and some other country’s publishers participates in the fair with their books. Many Governmental Institutions of Government of Bangladesh like Bangladesh Tourism Board, the Bangladesh Archeology Department and some others participate in the fair with stalls. Some Non-Governmental Social Institutions also participate in the fair. Nowadays some digital publications such as CD, VCD takes place in the fair. Besides, many mobile operator companies come into the Fair with the description of their services. Little Magazines took popularity in the fair. There is access to using Internet and Fax in the media center of the fair. Besides, there are Author’s Corner, and information center. Fair premises are smoking and pollution free. There is 20-25% discount on the book of the fair. There is a task force to maintain the educational and safe environment, they investigate and take immediate step if anyone violate the Copyright or Patent law.
There are different times for the fair on the weekends and other holidays. There is no entrance fee for the fair.
Selection of Publication
Bangla Academy forms a committee that decides which publication will get stalled at the fair, what kind of stall they can make. The selection procedure has become restricted from 2010: The submission of the copy of the book to National Archive and National Library, Tax Identification Number (TIN) and is the new copy of the published book has submitted to the information center of Bangla Academy, these things are now maintained very strictly.