The month-long book fair is offering to the tech-savvy bookworms of fictions and non-fictions, classics and new titles in Bangla in digital format, known as e-books, through mobile apps, giving the readers a new dimension.
Book fair authorities have decided to extend the time of the book fair to minimise the loss caused by rain and hailstorm on Wednesday.
Gate of the book fair will open at 10:30am today and Saturday instead of 11:00am. Book fair will remain open from 2:00pm instead of 3:00pm for weekdays for rest of the month, said fair committee member secretary Jalal Ahmed.
The world of digital and palm-top reading is growing by leaps and bounds in the country, especially in the cities, with the increasing number of smart phones and tablet computer users.
At least five stalls at the book fair are selling and displaying mobile apps containing local and international e-books. Three stalls sold and displayed the mobile apps at the book fair in 2014.
A mobile app is a computer programme designed to run on smart phones, tablet computers and other mobile devices. Shei Boi, Chorui, Bengal e Boi, Banglalink Boi Ghar and Bijoy are offering e-books at the book fair this year. The readers can avail the apps from Google Play store, appstore.
Prasenjit Deb of Shei Boi and Asiquzzaman of Chorui, who had mobile book reading apps named Boighar, said that they got more response this year than that in the previous year.
Prasensit said that their apps were downloaded about 15,000 times till February 18 and the figure was 7,000 during the whole month of February in 2015.
Asiquzzaman said that their sales were much better this year than the previous year.
Bengal e Boi stall’s Jahid Milton said that they inaugurated their apps on January 22 and so far 2,500 people downloaded it.
EB Solutions Limited is offering Banglalink users an e-book reader, Banglalink Boi Ghor and its stall attendant Abdullah Al Soud said that people from all walks of life were visiting e-book stalls but youth were more interested group.
Many readers of e-books said that these gadgets changed their reading habits and the major benefit they were getting was that they were now able to have a number of books at once and to read them during free time which came quite unexpectedly or while travelling and while being stranded amid traffic congestions.
Zakaria Ahmed a Dhaka College student said that he liked e-books as he could have them in pocket.
Shei Boi had about 250 e-books and about 125 were free of cost in their apps. Prices of the books range from Tk 20 to Tk 110, said Prasenjit, adding that significant number of buyers were expatriate Bangladeshis.
Chorui’s Boi Ghar is offering collection of works of stalwarts of Bangla literature including Rabindranath Tagore, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay, Jibanananda Das, Sukumar Ray and Sukanta Bhattacharya in e-book format at the cost of Tk 300 to Tk 50 at the book fair.
They have about 500 books and 50 of them were free of cost.
Bengal e-book has 260 e-books and their prices range from Tk 10 to Tk 250. Banglalink Boighar has 150 e-books most of them are selling for Tk 10.
Payments can be made through Visa, Mastercard and bKash for Sei Boi, Chorui and Bengal e Boi while payments for Banglalink Boi Ghar will be deducted from cell phone account.
A total of 74 new tittles hit the fair on Thursday. The Bangla Academy held a discussion on pros and cons of uprising of women in Bangladesh and it would hold another discussion on Bangladesh of 2021 today.