Art And Culture

Publishing Sector Fragile

Publishing Sector FragilePublishing Sector Fragile

Only one-third, or 4,000 book publishers are active among the total 12,000 licensed publishers. This calls for a serious policy to elicit society’s interest in reading, said speakers at the first National Conference of Books and Publishers, held at the National Library of Iran (NLA).

Fundamental issues about reading culture among Iranians were debated, Mehr News Agency reported. Weakness of the domestic publishing sector is a matter of concern, said head of NLA, Seyed Reza Salehi-Amiri, highlighting the need for an effective cultural development policy to address the problem.

“The low rate of reading in the country is alarming, showing that books get far less attention than other cultural tools,” he said, adding: “The lacunae in reading can be bridged to some extent by evaluating the needs of readers,” and understand the poverty of book reading.

Policy decisions for the publication sector are related to the legal and commercial status of publishing houses and the annual reading rate. “The media and academic institutions should help promote the reading culture,” he said.

Abbas Salehi, cultural deputy at the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance, emphasized the need to review the problems of the cultural sector, which comprise music, theatre, cinema and publications.

“Unfortunately, reading has yet to become a valuable cultural component of our society.” Buying books should be “included in the monthly household shopping basket” to boost reading, he added.