Iranian cultural official satisfied with book titles’ growth rate

TEHRAN — Deputy Culture Minister for Cultural Affairs Seyyed Abbas Salehi said on Saturday that the per capita rate for book titles published in Iran shows satisfactory growth.

Speaking at an opening ceremony for Iran Book Week on Saturday evening in Tehran, Salehi said that only 1.8 book titles were published for every ten persons in 1992, while the rate increased to 7.5 in 2005 and 9.3 in 2014.

“Of course, anti-books and book-like productions have also been counted in these figures, but it not fair if we ignore the great number of patient publishers,” he stated.

He said that there has been a big improvement in the subjects of the books as well and added that most of the offerings have been about scientific subjects.

“In these post-sanction days, a new meaning has been given to economy,” said Salehi, warning “We should be careful that culture will not be cheated.”

“In these days that the country is enjoying significant moments in its history, we should reduce the shortcomings in the lives of the people active in the cultural fields,” he added.

Iran Book Week is annually organized during November by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance to promote book reading culture.

In a meeting held for Iran Book Week at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall on Sunday, the chairman of the Leader’s office, Ayatollah Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani, said, “We have many libraries, but we have no readers.”

“Our people should reconcile with books,” he added.

The government spokesman, Mohammad-Baqer Nobakht also announced the government’s plan to raise salaries of librarians and people active in the publishing industry.

Earlier last week, Tehran City Council member Ahmad Masjed-Jamei invited Iranians to join a reading campaign by buying books on November 19, the last day of the 23rd Iran Book Week.

He asked people to come together at bookstores on that day to purchase at least one book.

By Tehran Times