Israel Book Week - actually, 11 days of book-travaganzas in cities all over the country - opened Wednesday night. Over 7,000 new books were published last year.
The book festival, at which books old and new are offered at significant discounts, was the brainchild of the late Bracha Peli, founder of Massada Publishing, back in 1926. It was first held for just one day in Tel Aviv, and was then held every few years. For the past 46 years, however, it has become an annual event, lasting for a week and longer.
The current Book Week features 150 different publishers, presenting tens of thousands of titles. Book Week festivals will be held in 50 different locations throughout the country, and book stores will offer special Book Week discounts throughout the month of June.
In Jerusalem, the fair is being held opposite the old Train Station, while in Tel Aviv, the location is Ganei Yehoshua Park.
The Jewish National and University Library , the legal deposit library of Israel - by law, it must receive two copies of each book, journal, cassette or disk published in Israel - has collected the following statistics:
* 8,608 new titles were registered in the JNUL in 2006, including 6,840 books, 915 new periodicals, and 650 non-print titles, such as CDs and cassettes. In addition, 12,874 issues of current periodicals were received in JNUL. The number of books actually published over the year is over 7,000.
* Most of the books - 5,900 - were in Hebrew, while 528 were in English, 196 in Russian, and 133 in Arabic.
* The vast majority of the Hebrew books, 88%, were originally written in that language, while the others were translated into Hebrew.
* The religious sector was responsible for 24% of the total titles that were published in Israel in 2006, compared with 21% the year before.
* Close to 500 books for children and youth were deposited in the library, and 203 text books.
Arutz Sheva launches Sderot Solidarity Week this Sunday, June 10th
Solidarity Bus Trip departs from Jerusalem's Binyanei HaUma Sunday at 8:30am
Sign Up for Trip!
Also on Sunday 12-hour Arutz Sheva Radio broadcast and telethon from Sderot.