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Entertaining storytelling, tradition draw book lovers to Sheba Prokashoni at Book Fair

  • Published at 06:14 pm February 6th, 2019
Visitors buying books from Sheba Prakashani's stall at the Amar Ekushey Book Fair in Dhaka's Suhrawardy Udyan on Tuesday, February 5, 2019 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The publisher has introduced 18 new books at the fair

Sheba Prokashoni has been drawing large crowds of book lovers at the Amar Ekushey Book Fair with avid readers eager to purchase mystery, thriller and crime books.

Many parents, who grew up with the publication, are introducing their children to over 50-year-old adventure and detective stories.

Sheba’s stall is not fancy, but it attracts book lovers because the books are entertaining and inexpensive.

Golam Rafi, a doctor from Azimpur, said he bought books from the stall because: “I am used to reading the translated thrillers of this publication ever since my college days. It dominated my young mind with good and entertaining storytelling.”

“Another reason is that the books of Sheba Prokashoni are cheap, so I can buy all of my favourite books at once,” he added.

Ayeshatul Humaira, a university student from Uttara, said that though the paperback books are   printed on newsprint, they are available at reasonable prices.

“I began reading storybooks with Sheba Prokashoni; and at every book fair, I buy at least three or four books from this stall,” she added.

Another customer, Mokarram Ali, a government service holder from Paltan, said his addiction to reading stories started with “Tin Goyenda” and continued with “Masud Rana”.

“Nowadays, I am unable to spare time for reading, but every time I come to the book fair, I buy some new books from my favourite series,” he said.

Fahmid, who was among a group of schoolboys buying books from the stall, said: “To buy these books we do not need to get money from our parents. We can manage the money from our daily expenses because they are cheap.”

Abdus Salam, junior assistant manager at Sheba Prokashoni, said they have launched 18 new books at the fair so far, and reintroduced many classics.

“After the middle of the month, more new books will be added to our new list,” he said.

“As in the past few years, we are receiving a huge response from our readers,” he added.

Sheba Prokashoni was founded by Qazi Anwar Hussain in 1963. Since then, the publisher has offered an array of popular Bangla-language paperbacks at affordable prices.

What makes Sheba Prokashoni famous is their publication of beloved classics, such as the “Tin Goyenda” and “Masud Rana” series; and their Bangla translations of  Western masterpieces like “Great Expectations”, “The Three Musketeers”, “Les Miserables”, “She”, “Return of She”, “Three Comrades”, “The Count of Monte Cristo” and “The Tale of Two Cities”.

The “Tin Goyenda” series follows the adventures of three teenagers, adapted from the plots of “The Three Investigators”, “Famous Five”, “The Hardy Boys” and other similar detective stories in foreign languages.

The plot of “Masud Rana” revolves around an international spy of Bangladeshi origin, which gained great popularity in post-war Bangladesh, at a time when video games or cable television had not yet reached the country.

The “Kishore Classic” series provides condensed translations of works by famed authors, including Jules Verne, Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle and Alexandre Dumas.

The most popular publications include translated horror stories like “Pishach Kahini”; translated “Sheba Romantic” novels; the “Western” series based on stories of the American Wild West; and “Rohosso Patrika”.