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One book is printed annually for every two Iranian children: author

07/10/11 Sources: Mehr News Agency

A children's writer has criticized the low number of books printed for Iranian children.

"About thirty million children live in Iran while only 15 million books are published in Iran annually, i.e., every two Iranian children have only one new book," Mostafa Rahmandust told the Persian service of the Iranian Students News Agency on Sunday.

"Cultural officials have not carried out their duties properly in the field of children's literature... no progress has been shown in this field over the past few years," he added.

Rahmandust, who is the director of the children's section of the Iran National Library and Archives, said that book reading should be encouraged by families and it should then be reinforced by organizations such as the Institute for Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults.

Tow of the books authored by Mostafa Rahmandust

"Book reading is not approached professionally in Iran. Neither is a writer able to earn a living as a writer, nor is a publisher hopeful about the outcomes of his/her work. Also, families are not enthusiastic about the books that are being published," he lamented.

Read The Story of Two Lonely Turtles (pdf)

Various figures have been published about Iran's per capita book reading rate over the past six years.

In April 2008, then director of the Iran National Library and Archives Ali-Akbar Ash'ari lamented the lack of proper reading facilities and a shortage of the latest publications in Iran's libraries.

He announced that Iran's per capita book reading rate is two minutes in every 24 hours.

Ash'ari was censured for his remarks by some Iranian officials. Afterwards, they began to give higher rates for Iran's per capita book reading.

The general director of the public libraries of Gilan Province announced on Saturday that Iran's per capita book reading rate is 74 minutes in every 24 hours.

With a 84-minute per capita book reading rate, Gilan is "the most cultured province of Iran", Mohammad Ahmadipur told the Persian service of the Mehr News Agency.

No source was mentioned for the data obtained by Ahmadipur.

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