Books not bread is what we need, says publisher

August 4, 2008

TEHRAN -- The managing director of the Iranian publishing company Teimurzadeh has recently put forward a proposal to the culture minister to start a program to raise Iran’s per capita book reading.

Farhad Teimurzadeh has sent a letter to Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad-Hossein Saffar Harandi suggesting that governmental organizations and companies compel their staff members and employees to dedicate 30 minutes at the start of their shift at work every day to reading a book.
In the letter published by several Iranian news agencies on Saturday, Teimurzadeh expressed hope that the sight of staff members and employees reading books would replace the unflattering scene of them eating bread for breakfast at work.
“In a country in which 80 percent of the people are literate, the rate of the Iran’s per capita book reading is not in accord with our magnificent history, culture, and religion,” Teimurzadeh lamented.
He has also sent copies of the letter to the Cultural Committee of Tehran City Council, Majlis Cultural Committee, the president’s office, and the Supreme Leader’s office, asking them all to turn the proposal into a national plan.
Teimurzadeh has opened up the plan in his company. A notice in the company’s board announces, “All staff members must read a book from 8:00 to 8:30 AM every day, thus they can respond you (the clients) in this period. You can borrow a book from the library to read it until the end of the staff reading period.”
In April 2008, Iran National Library and Archives Director 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.