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Book Fair sees rising visitor numbers but mixed sales

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DE Online Desk
As the Ekushey Boi Mela (Book Fair) 2024 crossed its eighth day Thursday, publishers and book sellers are hopeful for increased sales and public engagement, despite not yet reaching their anticipated sales targets.
The Dhaka Metro Rail has infused the fair with a new vibrancy, making it more accessible for visitors from distant areas like Uttara, Mirpur, and Motijheel. Ovi Islam, from Farmgate, shared his positive experience of using the metro rail to bypass traffic jams, despite the initial long wait for tickets.
Although some visitors, like Ovi who visited the fair three times without purchasing books, contribute to the growing foot traffic, the overall sales have yet to see a significant boost.
Another group of visitors from Uttara noted the ease of accessing the fair this year, thanks to the metro rail, which has offered a way to avoid the infamous Dhaka traffic congestion.
Book sellers expressed mixed feelings about the fair’s progress. While visitor numbers are on the rise, actual book purchases remain lower than expected. Nur Hossen Sarkar from Anupam Prokashoni observed that many attendees are more interested in browsing than buying. Similarly, Mohammad Jabed from Mowla Brothers noted a slight decrease in sales compared to the initial days but remains hopeful for an uptick in activity.
Some exhibitors have faced challenges with their stall placements, leading to visibility and accessibility issues. Sumon Saj from Nongor Publication voiced concerns about being allocated a less favorable location and has reported the issue to Bangla Academy without seeing significant action.
Some publishers also expressed dissatisfaction about the overall arrangement and environment. These issues suggest that while the metro rail has made the fair more accessible, improvements are still needed in its organization and visitor experience.
With the fair still underway, publishers and sellers are optimistic about a surge in sales and visitor numbers, especially with the upcoming weekend.

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