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Thursday, July 21, 2011
Supreme Leader laments decline in book reading among Iranians
Tehran Times Culture Desk
TEHRAN -- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has criticized Iranian librarians for Iran’s low per capita book reading rate.
The figures on reading books and the number of publications are not satisfactory, he said during a meeting with a number of Iranian librarians and library directors on Wednesday.
He called for “a serious revision” of the official programs for the promotion of reading “useful and proper books”, particularly the programs targeting teenagers and the youth.
“Despite all the recent progress in the mass media and means of communication, books will never become obsolete and nothing will be able to take the place of books,” the Supreme Leader noted.
He also criticized the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting and the Iranian press for the dearth of advertisements for books, adding, “Today, there are many commercials and ads for insignificant or even harmful products on TV and radio and in the press, but there is no suitable program for advertising books, which are substantial and valuable products.”
“Not every book is necessarily good… Sometimes, books with a cultural veneer but with specific political ulterior motives appear on the book market,” Ayatollah Khamenei stated.
Thus, officials should pay “strict attention” to books, he added.
In April 2008, former director of the Iran National Library and Archives Ali-Akbar Ash’ari 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 cite higher numbers for Iran’s per capita book reading rate.
Photo: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei addresses a meeting with Iranian librarians in Tehran on July 20, 2011. (Photo by khamenei.ir)