Salehi wrote in his Twitter account, “During the coronavirus days and under the economic pressure, the publishers’ efforts to preserve Iran’s culture are admirable.”
The increase in publishing figures in the first three months of the Iranian year (ending June 20) is an important sign of publishers’ efforts to overcome economic hardships and turn the coronavirus threat into an opportunity and encourage people to read books, IRNA reported.
Salehi said that a total of 15,548 books were published during the three-month period, which indicates a 0.05 percent increase compared to its previous year.
In some fields such as art, natural sciences, mathematics, and religion, the figures showed an increase of 23, 45, 50 percent, respectively, but in some other fields such as literature it decreased by two percent, Salehi said.
An increase of 50 percent in publication of art books and a 36 percent decrease in the number of textbooks indicate that the closure of schools and the postponement of university entrance exams left textbooks behind and created an opportunity to study works of art, the minister said.
An increase of 0.05 percent may not be a significant figure, but its importance becomes clear when the production price of each book has almost doubled compared to last year and, on the other hand, the Tehran International Book Fair was not held in the first quarter of the Iranian year.
Previously, Salehi had said that the coronavirus outbreak in Iran had caused great loss in the art and culture sectors, asking urgent support for people working in numerous vulnerable jobs in the sectors.