Tehran International Book Fair | An Occasion for Cultural Exchange

Tehran International Book Fair

Tehran International Book Fair: A Place for Booklovers

How many times has your flight been delayed? How many times and how many hours have you sat in the hotel lobby waiting for the room delivery time? What do you do in your free time while traveling? Do you like to study while traveling? Do you take a book with you and read in your free time in the airport waiting room or hotel lobby? If you live in Tehran, have you heard about the Tehran International Book Fair?

Tehran International Book Fair is a good opportunity to buy books both for Iranians and foreigners. Tehran International Book Fair is held in the middle of May every year. This exhibition is one of the biggest cultural events in Iran. Everything from publishers’ discounts to new book titles and the chance to meet your favorite authors at the fair is available. In this article, we are going to explore the Tehran International Book Fair.

Tehran International Book Fair

What Is the Importance of the Tehran International Book Fair?

The book is five thousand years old. The first books were in the form of clay tablets, but over time, according to human access to new facilities and changing human needs for communication and information, the form of books evolved.

Before the invention of the printing press, the copying of books was only possible through the transcription of books, which made the production of books very slow and difficult. And in case of mistakes in the author’s writing, he was forced to rewrite that page of the book (if he wrote on a sheet of paper at the beginning and then it became a book).

But in 1439, with the invention of the printing press by the German Johannes Gutenberg, a great transformation took place in the book publishing industry. After a brief review of the history of the book, we will mention the importance of the Tehran International Book Fair in the following.

Tehran International Book Fair Provides Easy Access to Books

One of the first opportunities to hold a book fair is to make it available to the public. Bringing publishers together in a planned environment and offering books widely and with incentives is an opportunity that only happens during the exhibition. This opportunity provides the basis for the principle of availability of the book to create a platform for study. That the book is available and that it is possible to buy and sell it easily. One of the primary options is to encourage people to read books. This principle of availability will be one of the most important opportunities during the book fair.

Tehran International Book Fair


Promotion of Related Industries in the Field of Publishing

In addition to the principle of easy access, the book fair is an opportunity to promote related industries in the field of publishing, which can deal with the pathology of issues surrounding the management of publishing companies, the strategy of the publishing industry, and information and communication technology, unauthorized reproduction, and the weakness of management in publishing companies.

In addition to the principle of easy access, the book fair is an opportunity to promote related industries in the field of publishing, which can deal with the pathology of issues surrounding the management of publishing companies, the strategy of the publishing industry, and information and communication technology, unauthorized reproduction, and the weakness of management in publishing companies.

Needs Assessment and the Importance of Feedback

A Book fair is an opportunity to meet the creators and readers of the works. The exhibition is the place of conflict of opinions and the center of creativity. The author of the book, the publisher, and the reader have a conversation in an environment that can provide the basis for understanding and receiving the needs and tastes of the audience.

At the same time, the audience can also directly communicate with the owners of the works. This two-way and interactive communication can provide the basis for strengthening and promoting reading. Communication that will generate ideas and creativity. At the same time, less fortunate publishers or publishers operating in other cities gained the possibility of offering their works to amassing general audiences.

Tehran International Book Fair

This provides the opportunity to get acquainted with publishers who do not have a special name and tradition. In addition to less privileged publishers, it provides audiences who do not have the opportunity to attend bookstores and shopping centers continuously. In a coherent environment, the mass of publishers gathered was a great opportunity for the audiences.

The Presence of Foreign Publishers

The international section of the book fair can also be of special importance. For some audiences who read books in the original language or need to use books, the exhibition provides this opportunity. It is not possible to prepare these books in other conditions. To the extent that some people prepare these books during their overseas trips. But the international section of the exhibition can provide the needs of this audience easily and in the shortest possible time.

The 34th Tehran International Book Fair

The first period of this exhibition was held in the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1987 at the place of international exhibitions in Tehran. In 2006, for the last time, this exhibition was held at the place of the Tehran International Exhibition. Due to the heavy traffic and the problems caused by holding the Tehran International Book Fair at the Tehran International Fair, the book fair was held for the first time in Mosalla, Tehran.

Tehran International Book Fair

For many years, the Tehran international book fair has had several halls for meetings, unveilings, reviews, and meetings, the most important of which was the House of Writers and the House of Writers for Children and Teenagers. The organizers of this course decided to distance themselves from that stereotype and not only bring the venue of the meetings to the public but also choose better and fresher names for each program that resulted: “Book Booth”, “Criticism Corner”, etc.

Breaking the Record

For the 34th Tehran International Book Fair, which was held this year (2023), we do not have a report showing how many people visited it. However, on the seventh day of the book fair, the Hakim highway was blocked and the police allowed thousands of cars to park and go to the fair, which means the record was broken! Until this year, it had never happened to encounter this volume of cars around this place.

On the other hand, the virtual part of the Tehran international book fair was much more popular than last year. Both the possibility of searching and the speed of the Ketab.ir website was higher in the virtual sales system section. And when the purchases were completed, SMS messages would come and it was as if the postman was on the way, and they would deliver the book to him to take it to the buyer’s address.

This is while in the past years when the in-person exhibition was closed due to the spread of COVID-19 and the exhibition sold books in a virtual form, sometimes it took two to three weeks for the books to reach the people.

Tehran International Book Fair

Special Guest

This year, Tajikistan was the special guest of the Tehran International Book Fair. For many years, we had misunderstandings with this co-speaker and they did not have special cultural relations with Iran. This year, however, Tajikistan became a “special guest” at the book fair. In addition to publishers and creators from this country that traveled to Iran, Tajikistan’s Minister of Culture also gave new credibility to this cultural interaction by being in Tehran. Besides him, Venezuela’s Minister of Culture came to Tehran International Book Fair to unveil his anti-colonial book and to sign a cultural agreement with the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance in Iran.

Foreign Publishers at Tehran International Book Fair

Foreign publishers had 62 booths at the 34th Tehran International Book Fair this year. They sold and supplied their books according to Islamic regulations. In this hall, spaces were also available for support projects, organizations, institutions, and representatives of different countries in the world.

Out of 62 stalls in the Hall of foreign publishers, 35 stalls were owned by Arab publishers, and 27 stalls sold books in the Western Countries section. They were present at the book fair this year on behalf of European, American, and Arabic publishers. The books of these publishers were in English, German, and Arabic languages. Some of these publishers are as follows:

  • Brill from the Netherlands with subjects: humanities, especially Islamic, and religious studies
  • Taylor & Francis from England with subjects: engineering, basic science, agriculture, and medicine
  • Routledge with subjects: Humanities, Architecture, and Art
  • CRC Press with topics: engineering, sciences, and management
  • Edward Elgar with topics: economy, business, and environment
  • DeGruyter with subjects: religions, language, literature, medicine, and mathematics
  • Edinburgh University with subjects: religious studies, history, and art
  • Bloomsbury Subjects: Religions, Literature, History, and Art
  • Facet with library science subjects
  • Quintessenz with subjects: medical sciences, especially dentistry

Tehran International Book Fair

Foreigners’ Opinion on the Tehran International Book Fair

In addition to some international publishers, some foreigners also visited the Tehran book fair. Tommy Hunt is the director of “Path Finders” a publishing house in England that participated in this year’s book fair. “We have been participating in the Tehran Book Fair every year since 1998. This is an important event in the field of culture that we are very interested in attending. This year the situation is relatively good and more people are coming to the international section to shop”, says Tommy Hunt.

“Pathfinders” is a publishing house located in Yorkshire, England, and focuses more on the publication of historical, political, and literary books and the words of world-famous figures. “We focus more on selling our books and we emphasize less on communicating with other countries and publishers,” says Hunt.

He also points to the difference in the price of books in Iran and his own country: “Due to the difference in the price of the dollar, we have to sell books here with a special discount. Iran’s economic conditions are such that if we sell books at the price of what we sell in England, fewer buyers will come to us.”

Presence of Georgetown University Professor

Shirin Hunter, an Iranian-American professor at Georgetown University, pointed out that her familiarity with the Tehran international book fair came from following Iran’s developments by reading Iranian websites and other media. “Foreign media do not reflect Iran’s positive cultural news”, she says.

“If the book can find international readers, it will play a big role in expanding the culture of a land. But these days, other means of communication have become very important. Unfortunately, these days, due to political problems, Iran’s cultural issues are not reflected much in the world media. The topics about which books are written in Iran are limited and have few foreign listeners,” says Hunter.

Tehran International Book Fair

When asked, “To study the contemporary situation of Iran in the cultural, political, and religious fields, do you trust the research published in which countries more?” The Iranian-American professor at Georgetown University said, “I try to write any book or I use an article from different sources. Also, by reading newspapers and other publications, especially monthly magazines, I can independently get a picture of the current policy. I measure everything I read with the standard of my intellect and inferences. I do not fully accept any thesis unless it converges with my conclusions.”

TehranOffers Bridges the Gap between Iranian and Foreigners

Due to its high durability, the book can be the best option for transferring culture to other parts of the world. And holding cultural events such as book exhibitions – taking into account the relationship between publishers and activists in the field of publishing and printing – can become a factor in consolidating unity. With books, we can better communicate with nations and Tehran International Book Fair is an excellent opportunity to exchange cultures.

TehranOffers‘ services are aimed at foreigners who intend to stay in Iran for a while. We provide the best housing options in the top neighborhoods of Tehran at competitive prices. To further facilitate living in this city, the TehranOffers blog presents topics that serve as guides for accessing different parts of Tehran.

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