Tehran International Book Fair

Tehran International Book Fair
Photo: tibf.ir
The Tehran International Book Fair (TIBF) is an annual international book fair held in the Iranian capital of Tehran in early May. It is considered the most significant cultural event in Iran, as well as one of the major book fairs in the Middle East.

The Tehran International Book fair has been held every year for over three decades. It takes place in Abbas Abad, a large neighborhood of Iran where the country’s largest ceremonial mosque is located. Parts of the Mossalla Complex (Mosalla-e Tehran) are used for fairs and cultural festivals, including the TIBF. The fairground has an area of 120 square meters.

The TIBF is arguably one of the world’s largest book fairs, hosting about 2,500 domestic and 600 foreign publishers and attracting around 5 million attendees each year (according to the organizers). The fair features both Iranian and foreign publishers. Most titles are in Arabic or English, but occasionally publishers also offer books in German, French, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, and other languages.

Publishers come to the TIBF not only because it gives them an opportunity to make new business connections and discuss future cooperation, but also because it is a great platform for direct sales. For example, at the 2017 fair, nearly $38 million worth of books were sold.

Like any other book fair, the TIBF hosts an array of cultural events and activities aimed at both book industry professionals and the general public. They include meetings with Iranian and foreign authors, book signings, book review sessions, lectures, writing workshops, and more.

For the last few years, each edition of the Tehran International Book Fair has featured a guest of honor. It is a country whose literature and publishing are showcased prominently during the event. Past guests of honor have included Oman, Russia, Italy and Serbia.

Unfortunately, censorship is a regular source of controversy at the Tehran International Book Fair. Iran as an Islamic republic where the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution has a considerable influence on many aspects of the country’s cultural life. Books deemed “un-Islamic” are regularly confiscated at the fair, and some publishing houses have been banned from participating due to their “controversial” titles.

Tehran International Book Fair

Photo: kirilka




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