Istanbul suffers bookstore, library shortage

Published 18.08.2016 00:00
A bookstore in Istanbul
A bookstore in Istanbul

Every year, the World Cities Culture Forum compiles information on how people pursue culture around the world and releases a study regarding bookstores and libraries per capita for 18 megacities from around the world. The 2015 report says Hong Kong has the most bookstores while Edinburgh has the most libraries, Quartz reported. The study reveals that a high number of people in Hong Kong and Edinburgh wander around the streets with a book under their arm, these numbers are lower in Istanbul and Singapore. The list shows that Istanbul ranks last for the bookstore category and the second last for the library category.

While Hong Kong has 21 bookstores for every 100,000, in Istanbul there is only one book store for every 100,000. Hong Kong tops the list with the highest number of bookstores per capita, followed by Taipei at 17.6 (per 100,000, as with the rest of this list), Madrid at 16, Shanghai at 16, Toronto at 13.9 and New York at 10. At the bottom of the list of bookstores in megacities, Amsterdam has only six book stores per 100,000, Moscow has five, London has four, Stockholm has 3.2 and Singapore has three.

While Edinburgh has 60.5 libraries per 100,000, Istanbul has only 0.4 libraries per 100,000 people. Warsaw has 11.4, Brussels has 10, Paris has 9.2, Seoul has six, and Shenzhen has 5.9. Among cities lower on the list but which still have more libraries per capita than Istanbul are Sydney at 3.3, New York at 2.7, Taipei at 1.8, Rome at 0.8 and Singapore at 0.5.

The Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) recently announced the number of libraries in Turkey based on 2014 data. Turkey has a total of 29,629 libraries, including one national library, 1,121 public libraries, 559 university libraries and 27, 948 libraries affiliated with education institutions. There are 28,356 registered members of the National Library, while public libraries have 1,209,766 registered members and university libraries have 3,870,112.

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