Book sales have plunged to a new low this summer where the hot days and the month of Ramadan have been the major reasons.
Spending one day on Enqelab Street, a major center for book shops in Tehran, one sees that there are hardly any customers buying books in the shops.
Mojtaba Ramezani, a salesperson for Khojasteh Publications believes that daily sales of books have plummeted somewhere between 30 to 40 percent with the beginning of Ramadan.
“Over the past years, bookshops had arranged a small market in front of their shops every Thursday offering books in lower prices. This project is being implemented daily this year, but it has not helped sales growth,” he told the Persian service of the Mehr News Agency on Saturday.
A salesman at Tahuri Publications also complained, “We have experienced a sharp drop in sales over the past few months.”
“Awful”, exclaimed a Nil Publications salesperson. “You can’t fully appreciate what I am saying since you don’t stand here behind this counter. There is only one month that an individual can get a chance to read and that is during the month of Ramadan, but as you see there are no customers. Book publication is also getting worse,” he complained.
“Book prices are increasing every day, so it is quite natural for a customer to check the price first before deciding to buy. First, people must buy enough to eat, then they can choose to spend the rest of their income on books,” he continued.
He added, “University students who are after books and are interested in purchasing books do not have enough money to buy them. So I don’t see publications having a good place in the future.”
And at Amir Kabir Publications, a salesperson has the same opinion, “There has been a quick drop and no new titles have been added to the catalog.”
It appears that other salespersons in other bookshops repeat the same response. Probably we can hope for an increase in sales when the academic year begins in late September.