Tehran virtual book fair kicks off 

January 19, 2021 - 19:18

TEHRAN – The virtual edition of the Tehran Book Fair was inaugurated in a ceremony held at the Iran Book and Literature House on Tuesday.

The ceremony was attended by Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Seyyed Abbas Salehi, Iran Book and Literature House director Ayyub Dehqankar, and Union of Tehran Publishers and Booksellers director Hooman Hassanpur. 

Speaking at the ceremony, Hassanpur said, “The book fair is usually held to support publishers and booksellers, and due to the pandemic, we focused more on the supportive role of the event this year.”

“This is the first time we are holding a virtual book fair and we might face some shortages and difficulties, however, we will do our best and will review the process day by day,” he said.

Deputy Culture Minister for Cultural Affairs Mohsen Javadi, also present at the ceremony, called the virtual book fair a bookshop and even more a cultural venue.

“The book fair offers a greater facility and a simpler way for purchasing books. The virtual space has more capacity, and if we had initiated the project we could even have more foreign publishers in the fair this year. However, we hope we can help promote book reading,” Javadi said. 

According to the director of the international section of the fair, Shiva Vakilnaslian, 110 publishers have registered in the international section of the festival, 80 of which are foreign publishers and 30 are Iranian publishers.

The culture minister was the next who made a short speech at the ceremony.

“The publishing industry had a great loss during the coronavirus era in Iran and in the world. However, book reading has increased during the pandemic,” he said.

He called the virtual book fair a new experience that can be a valuable event. 

“The virtual space has helped the publishing industry. E-book and podcasts have helped promote book reading in this space,” he said.

“The economy of the virtual book fair is also of high significance. Publishers from other cities had more problems in attending the fair in Tehran while in this online book fair they can easily participate and there will be more space to compete. 

“The world of today is the world of data, and the more knowledge and power we have, the better we can reinforce cultural movements,” he concluded.

The fair will officially begin its bookselling process on Wednesday and will be running until January 25.

The publishers are from different countries including Spain, Indonesia, Columbia and Senegal, some of which are attending the Tehran Book Fair for the first time,” she remarked. 

Last year, the 33rd edition of Iran’s most important cultural event was scheduled to be held in April and Turkey was slated to be the guest of honor, however, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance canceled the fair due to a massive rise in the death toll from coronavirus in the country.

Photo: Home page of the Tehran Book Fair. 

RM/MMS/YAW

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