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Shavuah ha-Sefer ha-Ivri 2012

For those who are able to take advantage of Hebrew Book Week, שבוע הספר העברי, don’t miss this opportunity to fill up the empty space on your shelves. One related development is the battle by some well-known authors against the deep discounts that are often found during this time period.

Ten leading Israeli authors announced on Tuesday, on the eve of the 51st Hebrew Book Week, that they do not want their books being sold at the discount prices being offered for the event, which begins on Wednesday. The writers are demanding that their publishing houses not allow their books to be included in the big sales, because they say, “We can no longer participate in the humiliation of our works in particular, and Hebrew literature in general.” Those who spoke out against the sales are David Grossman, Haim Be’er, Ronit Matalon, Amos Oz, Eli Amir, Yoram Kaniuk, Orly Castel-Bloom, Judith Katzir, Meir Shalev and Zeruya Shalev. Their statement was prompted by an announcement from the Steimatzky bookstore chain earlier this week that it would be selling four books for NIS 100 during Book Week. The country’s other leading bookstore chain, Tzomet Sfarim, immediately followed suit with the same offer. Menachem Perry, literary editor of the New Library publishing house, told Haaretz that he could no longer afford to receive new manuscripts because of the crisis in the book market. He said the industry was being harmed by the continuing delay of passage of the so-called book bill, a draft law intended to protect authors and to increase competition in the publishing sector.

Both the Seforim Blog and the Talmud Blog give excellent overviews of what new books have come out in the field of Jewish Studies and Talmudic Literature in the past year in addition to what is available from many publishers. If you are unable to attend Hebrew Book Week, Eliezer Brodt is again providing his good services for buying and shipping books. He can be reached at Part of the proceeds will be going to support the efforts of the Seforim Blog.

The National Library of Israel has released the following statistics regarding books that were published during 2011 in Israel and received by the National Library.

Number of “titles” (includes books, magazines, films, CD’s, etc.): 6,876
Number of books: 6,302
Number of MA theses: 1,359
Number of PhD theses: 1,074
Languages of books: Hebrew (5,451); English (400); Russian (197); Arabic (188); French (27); Yiddish (23); Romanian (7); German (6); Spanish (3). Books were also published in Dutch, Polish, and Italian, although no numbers were given.
89% of the books published in Hebrew were also written in Hebrew.
72% of the books were published for the general public; 28% for the religious and ultra-Orthodox population.

A few presentation of the statistics about books published in Israel can be found here (Hebrew).

As Israel Army Radio broadcast today, ספרים ספרים תרדוף (“Books, books, you shall pursue.”)

One Response to “Shavuah ha-Sefer ha-Ivri 2012”

  1. 1
    Mar Gavriel:

    What empty space on my bookshelves…?!




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