As Inflation Rose, Egyptians Gave Loans to Buy Books

As inflation rose, Egyptians gave loans to buy books. Due to the country’s soaring inflation, Egyptians may now pay for books in installments, a practice formerly reserved for more expensive goods like vehicles and washing machines.

“The simple act of owning a book is now considered a status symbol in Egypt. It’s not a need like food, and consumers would rather put their money into pricier items, “the Sefsafa Publishing House’s Mohammed El-Baaly claims.

Some Egyptian authors claim they have reduced the number of characters and the detail in their work as book costs have more than doubled.

As Inflation Rose, Egyptians Gave Loans to Buy Books

Paper and ink have risen in price dramatically, Mr. El-Baaly notes. To one economist: “The value of a kilogram of paper has increased nearly four times since the beginning of the year!”

He claims he is publishing books abroad and making fewer of them because he anticipates a decline in demand.

The notion of allowing people to pay for their tickets in installments arose out of concern that fewer people would attend this year’s book fair, the oldest and biggest of its type in the Arab world and an important event for the media business.

According to the Egyptian Publishers Association, consumers can take up to nine months to pay for a book at an interest rate of 1.5 percent.

Popular adolescent fiction author Dina Afifi is hopeful the plan will help revive sluggish sales. She claims that the book’s cover art was altered to keep the price of her newest pharaoh’s book down.

She explained that the increased cost of printing forced a reduction in the size of her book from 100 pages to 60.

Some Egyptian writers have discussed their methods to condense their work into shorter volumes, such as eliminating unnecessary characters and scenes and cutting back on descriptive prose.

They say people in Egypt are buying increasingly low-quality counterfeit versions of books. These may be purchased from vendors all around Egypt for 50 Egyptian pounds ($1.67–$3.35) or 1.36–2.70 British pounds at street kiosks.

Egyptians have suffered through prolonged austerity and many economic shocks and have seen even less of their money in recent months due to inflation’s rapid rise.

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Because it relied on imports, Egypt has been hit hard by the currency crisis. The value of money has been cut in half during the past year due to a series of devaluations.

The administration claims it makes every effort to reduce prices and places the responsibility on external causes connected to the conflict in Ukraine.

One Egyptian poet found it inevitable that this year’s common folk would be more concerned about having bread on the table than investing in books that would enrich their minds.

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