Disappearance of the ‘used books’ stores

A number of shops inside Dhaka University, Motijheel, Stadium market and other areas of the city used to sell used books including novels and textbooks even till 2010. Over the past five years, the numbers of such shops have drastically diminished, as most owners of these shops reverted to selling more lucrative items like admission examination notebooks etc.

New Age Xtra had asked its readers about how this decrease in the number of second-hand book stores has affected the citizens of Dhaka.
Readers also commented on past articles published in the Facebook page of New Age Xtra.

 

009Ashek Ishtiak Haq
August 18

I missed them [used book stores] dearly. I cannot explain the joy of finding a gem in the midst of the old books, putting on a poker face so that the seller could not anticipate its true value and charge you too much, all the while worrying yourself silly thinking someone else may come and could snatch it up.
As the time passes and life happens, now I have to spend most of my time in Mohakhali and get little time to travel through the Dhaka traffic to the shops.
The online bookshops serve a welcome respite, but the deal you get there is nothing compared to the one in the second hand bookshops as the sellers know the true value of the books unlike the mamas in those shops.

 

010Farhan Abid Ivan
August 18

It is indeed a great tragedy. Now-a-days, only a few shops bring new books and most of them have a small selection to choose from. But back when there were a large number of second-hand bookstores, there was always a chance of finding your desired books…I used to go to the bookstores on the last Saturday of each month and just rummaged through their shelves.
But alas, most of them are gone now and the rest only keep educational and reference books. And who can blame them, since most of the population view books as only educational tools and not for entertainment.

 

011Tahmid Hasan
August 19

When it comes to second-hand bookstores, you simply never know what you will find inside. Sure, a lot of it will be books that has been sitting on the shelves for years. But, there is just a chance that you will find something totally out of the blue and this has happened to me quite a few times. There are a few books that sporadically gets onto shelves of a bookstore, but if you look down a second hand bookshelf you will find exactly the book you were thinking of buying. Some of my best reads come from second-hand bookstores…A decline in the number of second-hand bookstores proved to be quite poignant.

 

012Sourav Mitra
August 18

This trend is truly disappointing for readers.

 

 

 

013Heavy on the wallet
Saad Bin Yousuf
August 18

It’s all happening because of corruption and lack of awareness.

 

 

014Bangla for the generations
Sabrin Rob Chowdhury
August 13

The education system in Singapore makes us study our mother tongue. So we had to go to Bangla school once a week all our life till our Advanced Levels. I have to admit, I hated Bangla school. It was such a chore and the most dreaded day of the week. I still got an A in Bangla for both Ordinary and Advanced level examinations.