Bangladesh Amar Ekushey Boi Mela just misses $10 million in book sales despite floods and chaos

It was touch and go whether the national book fair of Bangladesh, the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela, could keep up its growth as severe weather flooded the grounds, damaged books and deterred visitors. Even with a two day extension to make up for some of the lost time it seemed improbable we were going to Read More …

Call for Ekushey Boi Mela to be place under control of Bangladeshi publishers guilds

If the final numbers for the month long Amar Ekushey Boi Mela actually compared favourably with last year – a remarkable feat given the weather – still there is much dissatisfaction with the way the Bangla Academy has handled things. Now Professor Emeritus Serajul Islam Choudhury has said it is time for a change. Noting Read More …

Bangladesh Ekushey Boi Mela winds down after a two-day extension, but has it been enough?

The month-long Amar Ekushey Boi Mela, aka the Dhaka Book Fair, has wound up for another year, and it’s improbable any records have been broken as bad weather and bad luck worked in tandem to undermine the event. It got so bad that the event was extended an extra two days, concluding Saturday March 2 Read More …

Over 5 million visitors spend over $5 million at India’s 2019 book fairs. And we’re only halfway through February

India’s Kolkata International Book Fair wound up earlier this week and the numbers are in: 2.3 million visitors spent 230 million rupees (US$ 3.2 million) on books in twelve days. Given the price of books in India the volume must have been huge. This just weeks after 900,000 turned out to the New Delhi World Book Read More …

As the London Book Fair looms, invisible millions attend book fairs and festivals around the globe

If it’s February it must be the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela in Bangladesh, an annual festival of books that runs the entire month of February. Last year the boi mela sold books to the USD equivalent of just shy of $10 million. But hands up anyone who has Bangladesh on their book market bucket list? Read More …

Bangladesh’s month-long national book fair “to be bigger than ever” this year. Publishers promote on social media while ebook retailers look the other way

When one thinks of the worlds biggest book fairs its unlikely Bangladesh is on the list of prime candidates, but in fact the annual Amar Ekushey Boi Mela in Dhaka is well up there in the running, not least for its duration. The boi mela lasts the entire month of February. The annual book festival Read More …

Bangladesh Book Fair in Kolkata sets the scene for Kolkata IBF and the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela

On any given day there are more book fairs and festivals happening around the world than anyone could keep track of, where readers, authors and publishers congregate, seemingly oblivious to our quaint western notion that, if books aren’t being sold in bookstores or on Amazon then, well, nobody in that country reads. Take the 8th Read More …

Another Bangladeshi author and publisher killed by extremists

After a lull of a couple of years it looks like Islamic extremists have returned to their most brutal form of censorship – murdering authors and publishers that dare take a different view. In 2015 atheist author and blogger Avijit Roy was murdered at the Amar Ekushey Boi Mela (Dhaka International Book fair), followed by Read More …

Six weeks after the world’s longest book fair ended Bangladesh is at it again

Happy New Year! In Bangladesh, that is, where 1425 has just begun, and among myriad celebrations to celebrate the New Year is a ten day book fair organised by the Bangla Academy. A book fair in Bangladesh? If you’re new here you could be forgiven for wondering if they even have bookstores in Bangladesh, such Read More …

Bangladesh Amar Ekushey Boi Mela sells $9.6 million of books in 28 day event

The world’s longest duration book fair drew to a  close this week. The annual Amar Ekushey Boi Mela runs for the entire length of February, and this year broke records for book sales despite early controversy over payment methods allowed at the event. When I reported in early February that the Bangla Academy, the organiser Read More …

Using literature to connect countries and cultures – the Second South Asian Literature Conference ends

The second South Asian Literature Now conference in Dhaka ended Friday, after two days of discussion on South Asian poetry, language and translation. Lamenting that, Various parts of South Asia are still isolated and people know little about their literary works, Prof Emeritus Rafiqul Islam of the Bangladesh University of Liberal Arts opened the ceremony Read More …

Augmented reality, educational games for science textbooks, and a Youtube channel. The Bangladesh book fair delivers more surprises

The month-long Amar Ekushey Boi Mela book festival in Dhaka is among many other things an opportunity for publishers to release new books, and every day the list of new titles has been mounting. But this past week three innovative new additions to the list came in the form of a Youtube video, a science Read More …

Mobile payments net booklovers extra discount at Amar Ekushey Boi Mela, paving the way for future ebook stores

One of the biggest challenges to the digital transition in the so-called Third World is payments. In countries where cash is king, even though smartphones are everywhere, paying for any sort of e-commerce is difficult if you don’t have a bank account and plastic card. Mobile payment solutions as we know them in the west Read More …