Publishers and booksellers said on Monday that amidst the closure of schools and universities for women and girls, the import of books has ceased and book sales in Kabul have dropped dramatically.
They said that they have stopped importing books from other countries as a result of the lack of a market for books.
According to booksellers, hundreds of books with titles related to politics, economy, and society have not been sold for months.
“Sadly, we haven't imported books in nearly two years due to lack of sales. The market is extremely down,” said Aqeel Noori, a bookseller.
“Customers cannot afford to buy books,” said Sayed Jalal, another employee of the publication.
According to the Publishers Union in Kabul, the book sales market has also seen an unprecedented decrease since the closure of educational institutions for women and girls.
“Compared to the past, our sales have dropped now. The primary reason is that schools and universities are not using these books,” said Mohammad Akbar Azimi, chairman of the Joy-e-Shir Booksellers and Publishers Union.
“Universities are closed now and 80% of our consumers were girls,” said Ahmad Zai, a bookseller.
Booksellers added that their customers are rarely seen in the Joy-e-e Shir area in Kabul.
But a number of students said that they cannot buy books due to economic challenges they face.
“People’s economy is declining. It has reached the point where students cannot afford to buy books,” said Ruhollah, a student.
“When there is no money, it is difficult to buy a book, even if it costs 100 Afghanis,” said Mohammad Qadir, a resident of Kabul.
Publishers and booksellers said that previously, they imported more than 100,000 books from Iran and Pakistan every six months, but the number has fallen to zero now.
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