Art And Culture

‘Book City’ Model for Malaysia

‘Book City’ Model for Malaysia‘Book City’ Model for Malaysia

Malaysia has opened a bookstore named ‘Book City’, modeled after a large book store chain in Iran with the same title.

The new bookstore in Kuala Lumpur was visited by Aliakbar Ziyaee, Iran’s cultural attaché to Malaysia, on Sunday and grounds for book-related mutual activities were discussed, IRNA reported.

Hasri Hassan, a senior manager of Malaysia’s Book City said the country has a lot to learn from Iran’s experiences in book publishing.

The idea for starting such a book store came after the country’s experts visited Iran to study Iran’s book-related initiatives undertaken by organizations such as Book Cities, Kanoon-e Parvaresh-e Fekri-e Koodakan va Nojavanan or the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA), and Astan Quds Razavi Publications - run by an autonomous charitable foundation in Mashhad.

Praising Iran’s success in children’s book illustrations, Hassan said the bookstore plans to invite Iranian instructors to hold illustration workshops in Malaysia in early February.

“We want to serve Iranian residents by allocating part of the book store to Persian books. Furthermore, at least ten Iranian publishers will be enlisted in the Malaysian Book City’s brochures to be presented at the upcoming book fairs organized by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Beijing and Shanghai.

Shar-e-Ketab or literally Book City chain are fancy and uniquely-styled state-owned bookshops which opened their first branch in the capital Tehran in 1995. They aim to promote book reading in the country and provide greater access to foreign books. Their success led to opening more branches not only in Tehran but also in other provinces.

 Good Model

They are a good prototype for turning a bookshop into a place for the whole family to enjoy, relax, and have fun. Some branches have multiple floors, some of which are completely devoted to children, who can roam freely in this colorful, big space, and look at the books displayed on low tables or play with toys provided.

These complexes broke the age-old tradition of providing just books. They have also become a meeting point for writers and intellectuals, as literary discourses as well as weekly discussion sessions with authors of newly published books are organized, and readers’ questions answered.

The branches are one of the distributors of English and Latin books in Iran, ranging from just-published fiction to texts from Palgrave Macmillan. Additionally, it is perhaps the main source for Jazz and classical music from publishers such as EMI, ECM, Harmonia Mundi and others.