Around 60 million books published in July: Expert

Around 60 million books published in July: Expert

Gizem Çetimen - ISTANBUL
Around 60 million books published in July: Expert

Turkey has set an all-time record by publishing around 60 million books in the month of July, the Federation of Publishers told daily Milliyet on Aug. 4.

“The number is not a coincidence. Turkey is reading books,” said Münir Üstün, the head of the federation leading more than a thousand publishers.

Giving the data for July 1-29, Üstün said, “Around 60.6 million books were published during this period. So, this means, five cultural and five educational books per person.”

He stated that the cause for the high demand for reading books is the pandemic. “When we entered 2020 with a pandemic, we were hopeless. But then, we had a big demand, surpassing our expectations,” Üstün added.

He highlighted the numbers skyrocketing in the publishing of books since 2011.

“In 2011, we published 289 million books. The number rose to 429 million in 2019. The books sent to schools by the Education Ministry are not included in this count.”

Kenan Kocatürk, the head of Publishers’ Association, also expressed his views on the book sales. “Some 60 percent of 60 million books are study aids for primary and high schools. The rest are the cultural texts, like novels. There is a 10 percent increase since last July.” He stressed that the 60 million book production assures promising outcomes.

Haluk Hepkon, the founder of the Kırmızı Kedi Publications, pointed out the outbreak to be the reason for the rise in the sales, too. He stressed on the popularity of Jose Saramago’s and Naguib Mahfouz’s novels among people during the lockdowns.

“In the time of the pandemic, we published maps and books of activities more than the fictional books. As the country headed towards online education, families bought more non-fictional children’s literature,” said Zeynep Sevde, the editorial director for Taze Kitap Publishing.