Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Why does Bangladesh Import academic books?

Good evening, so I came across this interesting discussion so I think it is worth sharing!

Let's talk about O/A level books first.

As far as I’m concerned they have to stick to the regulations of IGCSE and most O/A level books that I have seen might be from India but they are not written by Indians rather most of them are written by probably Europeans. So probably even if any Bangladeshi person writes a book on O/A level topics won’t be accepted as a textbook and students have to buy the ones that are suggested by the curriculum. This is a standard they want to maintain or maybe even a monopoly so won’t accept anything else.

Look at school and college level books, they are pretty much the same as O/A level books only difference being O/A level books have more topics but SSC/HSC level books go much deeper into any certain topic and these books(SSC/HSC) are written solely by Bangladeshi writers, you probably won’t find any SSC/HSC book written by anyone else, even the ones that are in English so apply the same thing to O/A level, it is easy to understand Bangladesh has to import them. You probably will get pirated O/A level books in Bangladesh too, printed locally.

*Now what is wrong with Bangladesh’s publication industry?

Nothing is wrong, they act the same way as any other publication industry, quality is not the concern, profit is so they will publish anything that sales better no matter what the quality is and then again for artistic point of view everything is relative.

*Don’t Bangladesh has quality writers?

Question to this answer actually lies within the answer of your next question so let me tackle both at the same time.

*Don’t Bangladeshi people buy books?

This is a broad question because you were talking about Academic books but now this question also applies to general class too. The simple answer is no, most Bangladeshi people don’t want to buy books anymore and they read much less than they once read at a time and you can guess the reason too, there are more ways of entertainment available this days, you have huge amount of TV channels, radio channels, social networking sites, YouTube etc and Bangladesh has moderately high speed internet this days so people passes time on them more than anything. Look at the modern generation, they rarely read a book and what can you do they have grown up with these technological wonders and we all know how they can impact attention. There was a time when people bought a lot of books. Book fairs had huge amount of sell, libraries had too but now people just visit those places and if you don’t have an audience no one’s gonna create what a small minority might demand. You probably won’t get to live by the earning from writing a book so it is better to do something else and think about it more and more generations are distancing themselves from books so who is going to write them?

On academic level however it is even more painful, most people will go to KFC or Pizza hut and spend thousands on food, they will buy pricey dresses, pricey cosmetics but when it comes to buying books they will look for free digital copy, not all of them of-course but most of them will do it and can’t fathom this. Many private universities solely depend on presentation files and often times people print them or use any device to read them so the market is shrinking, if you write something and no one buys that you won’t write anymore.

Although luckily we have some good books written by teachers from University of Dhaka, I can give one good example, math books like Linear Algebra, a good book written by Prof. MD. Abdur Rahman of dept. of mathematics. I will hope view of Bangladeshi people will change and then Bangladesh can import less and it will eventually fuel other teachers to write something.

Hope it has given you something to think about. 

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