Newspaper Name: The Star Weekly (Amman, Jordan) Date: Thursday, 29 July 2004
|The objective of the fair is to enhance the ability of each household to acquire books sufficient to constitute a library. The jest lies in the very low prices so as to encourage the purchase of as many books as possible.
The book fair "A library for every house" has opened at the Al Hussein Cultural Center in Ras Al ein, Amman from July 18-28. According to
Mahmoud Al Mohtaseb, President of the publishers' union, "27 local publishing houses are participating in the fair, which was marked by its low prices compared to others." He said that this year's event was very successful, as "the prices were low in order to allow everyone to buy," adding that all publishing houses were cooperative and did their best to make the most out of the fair.
The prices were roughly the same among all publishing houses, of which many sold a set of books, ten for example, for only JD1. The common price for all books was almost JD1. Most publishing houses participated in the 10-day event mainly in order to sell their stocks of books and to renew their stock after the fair is over. Most publishing houses agreed that the organizers of the event didn't place limits on the number of books that were allowed. Furthermore, publishing houses said that they encountered no threat from electronic or digital books over the Internet since people still value books and consider them the best friends anyone can have. According to the publishing houses, the attendance had been very encouraging and many people from various sectors of society took the opportunity to attend this large and popular fair.
A representative from Al Zahran publishing house said, "the venue was very popular and aimed at encouraging people to buy books." He added that Al Zahran specialized in academic books that are taught at universities and also books that suit all tastes. He said that "in order to participate in the fair, the publishing house should be a member of the publishers' union and it should also have published a number of books." The representative said that the cost of renting a corner in the fair was very cheap, in order to encourage as many publishing houses as possible to participate. He added that the books, which were most common bought, were of political, Islamic, psychological, and children's nature.
" We encourage any child who is interested in publishing a story and we call on all publishing houses to concentrate on children's books especially considering the easiness of the topics that are presented to children," said Al Zahran publishing house's representative. He added that the prices play an important role in encouraging the families to buy books for their children.
Ahmad Khaled Al Jeetawi from Al Isra'a publishing house said they "specialized in popular books especially Islamic and children's books" as buyers mostly requested Islamic, psychological and educational books. He also said that many people were looking for "The Stories about Prophets" series. Al Jeetawi added that "people from various educational levels attended and there were people requesting higher levels of books than the available ones." "Books play a major role in the education of children of nearly 80 percent. they build and improve the education of children."
Another representative from Al Kindi publishing house said the participation and attendance in the fair was excellent and was the best in years. He said that "This is due to two reasons: Improvement in education and prices." He added that the prices were lower this year mainly to encourage people to read and that's why the slogan was chosen to be "A library for every house".
"Children's parents are the main motivators for them to be educated or not.if they want their children to be educated they should encourage them to read," Al Kindi's representative added.
Buyers' opinions varied according to their age levels. The senior buyers thought that the fair didn't offer anything new for them as the books presented were quite old. However, parents of children thought it was an extremely successful venue for their children and they bought books, which they thought would encourage them to read. Last but not least, university students found the event very useful since they were able to buy the academic books, which could help them in their courses