The book editors do not agree with the tax increase.

English Section / 2 octombrie

The book editors do not agree with the tax increase.

Versiunea în limba română

The book market in our country is facing significant problems. Readership is dwindling, and the authorities are not proving very friendly to this sector. The Executive Director of the Association of Publishers in Romania (AER), Mihai Mitrică, stated at the Bookfest Book Fair in Târgu Mureş that discussions about tax increases are not helpful because they send a negative signal to the market and discourage cultural consumption, including reading. Mihai Mitrică stated, "Our estimate is that we have about 40,000 books here. There are about 20 stands, but the number of exhibits in each stand is higher. It's quite a substantial edition, so to speak. The Bookfest Book Fair in Târgu Mureş, now in its eighth edition, could have looked even better, but let's not forget that we have a pandemic behind us, and the wounds it caused in the book market continue to linger. Discussions about tax increases in general, about overtaxing people's and companies' incomes, which send a negative signal to the market and discourage cultural consumption, including books, obviously don't help."

The organizer of Bookfest emphasized that while there was an increase in the population's attendance at book fairs in the year after the pandemic, the same is not happening this year, with a decrease in sales being recorded: "I believe that even during the pandemic, people would have wanted to attend such events. But after we emerged from that period, there was an exceptional enthusiasm among people for consuming any type of event. Last year, we only met a widespread expectation of the public, but this year is more challenging because the market is unfortunately declining. We see this in sales, and bookstore chains are already showing a significant loss after the first three quarters, which indicates that we need to do much more than we are currently doing to save this industry or at least keep it afloat."

The Mayor of Târgu Mureş, Soos Zoltan, said that the municipality, along with the Mureş County Council, funded this book fair because Bookfest has already become a part of the local culture: "This very important event started in Târgu Mureş eight years ago when I was the museum director, Mr. Prefect Dobre was the president of the Mureş County Council, and the city hall did not support Bookfest at the time. It's very good that all local authorities now feel that Bookfest is a very important thing and it's part of the city's culture to support books. Bookfest is already a traditional event that we greatly value, and when I say we value it, it's not just a metaphor, books are among the most solid means of cultural knowledge for an individual, so we cannot express their value in money because they are part of the culture and tradition of a people, a region, or a city." The Bookfest Book Fair is organized by the Association of Publishers in Romania under the auspices of the Federation of Publishers in Romania.