Book sales, reading culture dwindle in Takhar province

TALOQAN (Pajhwok): Booksellers in northern Takhar province says their business have declined and looking to convert their bookstores into grocery stores.
They say the purchase and sale of books have hit an all-time low in Takhar, where people — especially youth –have lost interest in reading.
Abdul Wahid, a bookseller, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “The market of books was good in the past, we could sell up to 15 books daily, but lately we even did not sell even a single book. We will switch to another alternative if the situation continues like this.”
He also concerned about the lack of interest of youth into reading books and use of social media. He believed that reading books could further increase the capacity of youth.
Baryalay, another bookseller in Taloqan city, said after last year’s political change in the country and migration of university teachers, bookstalls, where youth and other individuals used to gather, have gone quiet. This has put a direct negative impact on booksellers.
He stressed the need for strengthening of culture of reading among the people.
Ainuddin Mutmain, director of information and culture, acknowledged a decline bookselling business in Takhar, saying local officials striving to promote book-reading culture.
He pledged to launch book-reading competitions and arrange exhibitions to encourage the reading culture among people.