Innumerable numbers of beautifully crafted book stalls one after another, colourful covers and crisp pages, freshly published books, people posing and flashing smartphones in hand, we present to you Deshi youth's new favourite place for a photo session!
Being a subject of popular discussion for all the reasons except the original purpose it was supposed to serve (just a Deshi thing), a Bengali book fair is diverse and dynamic. You will be astonished to know that, other than making reels with ill-matching background music and putting stories with a vintage filter, one can also buy books from a book fair. Shocking, we know.
But, just because commoners treat book fairs as more of a photo booth and youths like to treat book fairs as more of an aestheticism, thankfully, book fairs become no less in terms of cultivation and propagation of knowledge. Anybody can now become a writer. Go to a book fair, take 5 wannabe literature enthusiasts, and chances are 3 of them have a published book.
Thanks to book fairs, this correspondent's childhood bully, Badman Takib, could fulfil his long-cherished dream of becoming a celebrated writer.
Takib, who spends his leisure online (not so subtly) praising himself, harassing his critics, and trolling people of opposing opinions, was seen giving interviews championing the importance of tolerance and empathy with a heavy throat and tearful eyes. He wrote a (self-proclaimed) critical analysis of the reasons behind the country's literary deterioration. This correspondent believes that his writing a 'scholarly' book on literature while studying biochemistry might be one of the reasons. But she kept her belief to herself as double standards are the contemporary trend, and who is she to object people from being trendy?
These days, the trends of publicizing books are more innovative than ever, too, free from the hurdle of the involvement of a reader or a book lover. There are diverse options to choose from on a spectrum of creating unrelated controversies to asking a food vlogger friend to show a book in a 2-second clip. Though that doesn't guarantee or affect sales much, the names of the books will be well known (for the time being), which might just be the achievement in this economy.
There's another indispensable element a book fair is incomplete without. Broke Bibliophiles, an easily identifiable species. Their principal characteristic is lovingly touching books, picking up, singing praise for the cover, turning pages for quite some time, and then leaving the stall with a sigh of longing. At every book fair, they thoroughly check each stall, make valuable comments, and promise themselves that a day will come when they will buy all the books they want.
For humanitarian reasons, let's utter a few words of prayer that those promises don't end in the same way as the promises we make ourselves after each semester.