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Jun. 30th, 2010 (UTC)

Factoids on reading in the Arab world, from the 2003 UN Arab Human Development Report:
  • The Arab world contains 5% of the world's population, but publishes only 1.1% of the world's books.
  • More books are published in Turkish than in Arabic each year, despite the fact that there are four times as many Arabs as Turks.
  • Of books that ARE published in Arabic, 17% are religious in nature. The worldwide average is 5%.
  • Annually, 4.4 books are translated into Arabic per million Arabic speakers. In comparison, 519 books are translated into Hungary per million Hungarian speakers, and 920 into Spanish per million Spanish speakers.
  • More books are translated into Spanish every YEAR than have been translated into Arabic IN TOTAL since the freaking Abbasid Caliphate.
  • Arab readership is so low that a book can become a bestseller by selling 5,000 copies.

So, in other news, as difficult as it is to find good English-language books in Qatar, the situation is equally grim for Arabic-language books.

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