Visitors at the fair expressed concerns about the weather
Publishers have expressed concerns over not being able to draw enough buyers to meet their sales goal at the Amar Ekushey Book Fair 2021 due to the unpredictable weather in March and April.
Usually, the month-long fair starts at the end of winter in the beginning of February. However, due to Covid-19, the book fair commenced 46 days later this time, with summer already knocking on the door
Publishers and sales executives said the hot and humid weather with occasional thunderstorms in March-April is unsuitable for book lovers, especially children and the elderly, to visit the fair.
Dipannita Mahi, sales executive of Tamralipi Publications, said the fair is yet to gain momentum. Most people have just been visiting, with a handful of buyers. “We are expecting the pace to pick up from next weekend.
"Bookworms are not coming that much due to the hot weather,” Dipannita said.
She added that a lack of promotional campaigns may also be behind the low turnout of buyers.
Books published by University Press Limited (UPL) normally attract a lot of readers. However, they were struggling to sell enough books on the fourth day of the fair.
Kausar Ahmed, a senior sales executive of the stall, said: "Although we are not selling books as per our expectation, we are still hopeful as people are coming amid the Covid-19 infection surge.
“We are worried about weather issues, like the scorching summer heat and upcoming thunderstorms," he added.
Visitors at the fair also expressed concerns over the weather.
Rahmat Ullah, a visitor on Sunday, said: "My family is worried about the weather. I brought them today as it is likely to get hotter later.”
Osman Gani, publisher of Agamee Prakashani, told Dhaka Tribune: "As the book fair is being held in March instead of February, we will not be able to sell as many books as expected. However, we will try our best with what we got.
"The Ekushey book fair is a cultural celebration. It was a correct decision to arrange the fair despite the delay. If we sit idle at home due to Covid-19, we will face various mental issues. This is why the fair was necessary," he said.
A total of 81 new books arrived on Sunday, the same number as the previous day.