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Demand for poetry books still high

Published : 18 Feb 2024 10:15 PM

Sales of books at the Amar Ekushe book fair show a declining trend in sales of poetry books but the demand seems to be still strong, said authors.

Meanwhile, a total of 1,795 new books have arrived until Saturday (February 17) so far. Among them, 552 books, the highest in number, are poetry books.

Analyzing the last 4 years' statistics, it was found that 1,247 poetry books arrived in 2023, 1060 in 2022, 898 in 2021, and 1,585 in 2020 during the month-long Amar Ekushe book fair. Each year, the poetry books were the highest in number in a specific genre.

Despite being the highest in number, the sales of poetry books are comparatively lower, said many of the book stall owners.

Jahid Hasan of Chandrabindhu Prokashan said, “Poetry books usually are less preferred. The readers of poetry are limited. People hardly understand poetry compared to other books.”

“Most of the readers show interest in novels. However, there are readers who still prefer poetry,” said Prattay Paul of Mizan Publishers.

Jannatul Baki of Poribar Publication said, “Not only poetry, but our reading habits have fallen.

We have shifted from print 

media to digital media. Due to habits of using mobile or laptop devices the space for literary practice has become limited.”

“I always noticed that people do not get interested in poetry,” said Taeeb Ananto, a young writer.

According to the authors, fewer sales of books doesn’t indicate that the demand for poetry is declining.

Profofessor Muhammad Samad, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Administration) of Dhaka University and President of the National Poetry Council, said, “Poetry is the classic and exquisite part of a language. Limited people read poetry and appreciate it. Fewer sales of poetry books doesn’t indicate that the demand for poetry is declining.”

“A few years immediately after the independence of Bangladesh the sales of poetry books were at their peak, and then the trend shows it is declining.”

Mentioning that lots of books with a lack of quality are arriving, Dr Muhammad Samad said, “Due to the increased financial capacity and technology, publishing books is easier now. So, lots of people are publishing poetry books as desired. It’s like, ‘Ami hridayer katha bolite baakul’.”

“Poetry is the most precious part of literature, and its demand will never end,” he added.

Year    2020    2021    2022    2023    2024 (till Feb17)

Poetry Books    1585    898    1060    1247    552

Total Books    4919    2640    3416    3730    1795

Source:     Bangla Academy