A Day in the Book Fair by Junior Win

Left to Right – 1,A program for giving speech by writers, I saw two writers sitting on the stage, 2,Inside the hall, 3,Books for sale, only 1000 kyats per each, WOW! How cheap it is!, 4,I saw 3 or 4 cartoonists sat at the table and they drew for anyone who wished to sit for having caricatures.
Upper Photo   Entrance to the hall, the red ladders attract to any audience. 
I was told that ‘NagarNi’ Book Fair was celebrated today at ‘National Theatre’. It was held for only one day. There were 75 books publication houses sold and showed their books there. My goodness! Only a day for this big event? But I did not want to miss it. 
I was there with my mother in the afternoon. It was celebrated for 75th anniversary of NagarNi book publication society. NagarNi was the name that we, Burmese people were familiar of. ‘Nagar’ signifies ‘Dragon’ and ‘Ni’ signifies Red. Red is the color of strength and courage. I learnt that it was held by many national people and politician in 1937. At that time, it was the significant publication house in Burma. Their purpose was to welcome the real patriots for their strike for Independence. So, I was proud to hear that my grandmother was one of the ‘NagarNi writers.
The place for the book fair was very famous one in my country ‘National Theatre Hall’. I had never been there before. I only saw it on the way. It was very magnificent place. Many dramas or Academy Awards Ceremony were once held there. The red ladders attract to any audience. I saw many publication houses showed and sold their books with discount. It was a good meeting for all the publications and the readers. I also saw cartoon competition. There were hundreds of cartoons were showed on the wall. Everyone looked at them with great interest. I learnt that there was a reward for the chosen cartoon by public and we could vote what we liked at the voting box. Ah! That’s great. 

There were hundreds of cartoons shown on the wall. I called it, ‘Cartoons Wall.’


I met many friends there. Some were running their books publications. I also met my publishers. They were happy to meet us. I saw my grandmother’s books at their sales. I also saw my books too! I was excited to see who was going to buy my books? If one of my readers bought my book before my eyes, I would be ready to sign my autograph, OH! Am I dreamt a lot?

I saw 3 or 4 cartoonists sat at the table and they drew for anyone who wished to sit for having caricatures. I was interested in this meeting. Sometimes I read about the artist who sat and asked pedestrians if they wished to have a drawing of their portrait especially in Paris near the river Seine. I envied this event very much. So, I decided to browse books in the fair first and I would try to have my caricature later. I found many Burmese old books and NagarNi old books too. I bought a lot of books there. I also bought my grandmother’s book, because our book at home was too old and weary. I also saw there was a program for giving speech by famous writers at the stage of the assembly hall. Many people sat and listened what they talked. I saw two writers at the stage discussed each other on the chosen subject very interestingly. The audience listened with much attention for their talk. 

 Wow! There were many programs in a day! How could I participate in every course? The time seemed run so quick to me. I wanted to read hundreds of cartoons which showed at the wall thoroughly, I wanted to choose which was the best, I wanted to vote my choice, I wanted to see who would be won, I wanted to browse all the books on every 75 publication houses showed, I wanted to sit before the cartoonist and have my caricature drew, I wanted to listen all the writers’ speeches at the stage, etc…

When the evening came, I had not yet finished my browsing books activities. There were many book sales left. I also had not finished reading all the cartoons. I was too tired of wondering around. My legs became aching. I remembered that I had not finished my lunch yet. I forgot my hungry stomach. I went outside and had a meal. I was too tired to get inside the hall again. The time showed me I had to go home. It was too late.




Books fair shows were very rare in our country. For this occasion, I only knew this information from my friend in the very morning. It was only one day to open. If I did not know this, I would have missed the show ever.