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�Digital media challenge must be countered with new techniques�

By City Correspondent
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GUWAHATI, Jan 1 - Digital media has posed a challenge for the publishing industry with most people nowadays spending their free time using the social media rather than reading books, but this challenge has to be faced with some new techniques to encourage readers to inculcate book-reading habit, stated Lutfur Rahman Chowdhury, director, training and internationalisation, Academic and Creative Publishers� Association of Bangladesh, while talking to The Assam Tribune today at the Guwahati Book Fair, which is going on at the Assam Engineering Institute playground here.

Chowdhury has led a team of 12 publishers from Bangladesh to take part in the book fair. The publishing houses include Jatiya Sahitya Parishad, Bhasa Chitra, Joyotee, Mukta Chinta, Charulipi Prakashan, Murdhanya, Raman Publishers, Dibya Prakash, Adorn Books, Sandesh and Nabajug Prakashan.

Commenting on the current trend of book reading in his country, Chowdhury said, �There is a lot of difference between reading a printed book and reading an e-book. An e-book cannot give one the kind of pleasure one gets while reading books in printed form. In our country, too, the new generation is very much attracted to the social media, which has led to downsizing of publishing industry.�

He hoped the Sheikh Hasina-led government will take steps to rev up the publishing industry in the coming days.

�We are hopeful that the newly elected government under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will work further to develop the publishing industry of Bangladesh, as she is a also writer and a book enthusiast,� he added.

According to Chowdhury, publishers from Bangladesh have not received good response from readers at this book fair.

�We haven�t received as much response from the readers as we had expected. We have sold books worth around one lakh rupees in the fair so far. We are not so much aware of the book-reading trend in Assam. This book fair is like a test for us and akin to an investment because it is also our duty to make the people across the globe aware about our books,� he stated.

However, comparatively, translated works from Bangladesh have received better response from buyers at the book fair, he admitted.

�This book fair provides a space for bridging the gap between Assam and Bangladesh. We have to develop the communication channels between the peoples of both sides. Only some political barriers have kept us divided despite a lot of similarities and resemblances existing in our cultures and literatures.�

Assamese people are so friendly and helpful. Publishers of this land also help us participate in the book fair,� he said adding, in the coming days more activities would hopefully take place to strengthen the bond between the two countries.

Meanwhile, writer-journalist Homen Borgohain, while speaking at a programme at the book fair today, lamented the huge dearth of books written for children and adolescents in Assam.

�In West Bengal, literature for children and adolescents gets very good response. Even many outstanding writers of the neighbouring state have penned books for this section of readers alone. In Assam too, some publishers have informed me that such books enjoy a very good demand in the market,� Borgohain said.

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�Digital media challenge must be countered with new techniques�

GUWAHATI, Jan 1 - Digital media has posed a challenge for the publishing industry with most people nowadays spending their free time using the social media rather than reading books, but this challenge has to be faced with some new techniques to encourage readers to inculcate book-reading habit, stated Lutfur Rahman Chowdhury, director, training and internationalisation, Academic and Creative Publishers� Association of Bangladesh, while talking to The Assam Tribune today at the Guwahati Book Fair, which is going on at the Assam Engineering Institute playground here.

Chowdhury has led a team of 12 publishers from Bangladesh to take part in the book fair. The publishing houses include Jatiya Sahitya Parishad, Bhasa Chitra, Joyotee, Mukta Chinta, Charulipi Prakashan, Murdhanya, Raman Publishers, Dibya Prakash, Adorn Books, Sandesh and Nabajug Prakashan.

Commenting on the current trend of book reading in his country, Chowdhury said, �There is a lot of difference between reading a printed book and reading an e-book. An e-book cannot give one the kind of pleasure one gets while reading books in printed form. In our country, too, the new generation is very much attracted to the social media, which has led to downsizing of publishing industry.�

He hoped the Sheikh Hasina-led government will take steps to rev up the publishing industry in the coming days.

�We are hopeful that the newly elected government under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will work further to develop the publishing industry of Bangladesh, as she is a also writer and a book enthusiast,� he added.

According to Chowdhury, publishers from Bangladesh have not received good response from readers at this book fair.

�We haven�t received as much response from the readers as we had expected. We have sold books worth around one lakh rupees in the fair so far. We are not so much aware of the book-reading trend in Assam. This book fair is like a test for us and akin to an investment because it is also our duty to make the people across the globe aware about our books,� he stated.

However, comparatively, translated works from Bangladesh have received better response from buyers at the book fair, he admitted.

�This book fair provides a space for bridging the gap between Assam and Bangladesh. We have to develop the communication channels between the peoples of both sides. Only some political barriers have kept us divided despite a lot of similarities and resemblances existing in our cultures and literatures.�

Assamese people are so friendly and helpful. Publishers of this land also help us participate in the book fair,� he said adding, in the coming days more activities would hopefully take place to strengthen the bond between the two countries.

Meanwhile, writer-journalist Homen Borgohain, while speaking at a programme at the book fair today, lamented the huge dearth of books written for children and adolescents in Assam.

�In West Bengal, literature for children and adolescents gets very good response. Even many outstanding writers of the neighbouring state have penned books for this section of readers alone. In Assam too, some publishers have informed me that such books enjoy a very good demand in the market,� Borgohain said.

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