Art And Culture

Promoting Reading Culture

Promoting Reading CulturePromoting Reading Culture

A number of authors and translators were asked by Honaronline about their views on people’s reading habits and why they think fewer Iranians are interested in reading now than in the past.

Mostafa Rahmandoost is a poet, author, teacher and translator of children and young adults’ literature, who has published 120 books on different topics. He believes that families, as the first and most important teachers, have a major role to play in motivating children to read. “Irrespective of any effort by the government to acquaint children and young adults with the reading culture,” Rahmandoost said, “it is the parents’ attitude towards books that has the most influence on children’s reading habits.”

Author and translator, Ahmad Pouri blames poor quality translations for alienating Iranian readers from books and believes that “well translated books can elicit interest.”

He considers lack of sufficient knowledge and expertise in Persian translators as the primary reason for low quality of book translations. He also said unfamiliarity of translators with the subject matter is another factor for poor translations. For instance, a translator who is not familiar with poetry in his/her native language is not qualified to translate poetry in foreign languages.  

Author Hossein Sanapour, on the other hand, thinks “there are too many hurdles in the way of good publications,” hence the declining enthusiasm in readers. He believes that if the publishing scenario improves in the country, authors will have more opportunities for writing good books.

Writer, novelist and journalist, Rajabali Etemadzadeh says literature books do not claim to change the world with their ideas, nor do they claim to teach lessons. “People enjoy popular novels because they see themselves in the role of fictional characters.”