Booksellers blame price-hike for declining business

Abdur Razzaq

PESHAWAR: The prevailing price hike has badly affected not only the booksellers’ business but has also created problems for the students and parents because the price of both old and new books of various subjects has been increased.

A bookseller is waiting for customers in Peshawar Saddar.

A bookseller is waiting for customers in Peshawar Saddar.

Students used to buy old books as the price was low comparatively, but nowadays, the price of old books has also been increased and that is the reason a poor student is not capable of even to buy an old book.

Liaqat Bazaar, located in Peshawar Saddar, is famous for both old and new books. Students from all nooks and corner of the province come here. But nowadays the rush of students has decreased in the bazaar because of inflation in the country.

Farhad Khan, a bookseller, told to this scribe that he had been doing the business for the last 12 years and had both new and old books.

“We have general books, Urdu and English novels, catalogs and other curriculum books”, he said, further adding few years ago students used to buy new books, but nowadays, students are reluctant to visit bookshops because of high price.

He mentioned that he purchased old books from the students on half price, adding that he earned more profit by selling old books, but now, he is hardly paying his shop rent.

“Due to prolong power cuts the printing of new books has come to a minimum and it is also one of the reason behind high prices of the books”, he said.

“I am dealing with the same business for the last three years. First, I started to sell old books and after sometime I also placed new books in my shop”, another bookseller, Khan Said expressed.

He added that most of students were demanding new books because most of the new books had been taught by educational institutions as textbooks, adding that customers only bought old books for reading novels and other general topics.

“The price of books is increasing day-by-day and people do not have any interest to buy such expensive books. A few years back, a large number of people including students used to come to buy books. But due to high pricing just students pay visit to purchase textbooks. Readership of such valuable books has decreased and that is the reason his trade is being badly affected”, he said.

Wisal Khan, a student of Sociology department from University of Peshawar said, “government says that education is important for the development of the country, while on other hand, admissions fee and books prices are increasing each passing day”.

He added that most of poor students left their education incomplete due to heavy admissions fee and high expenditures on books. He appealed government and university authorities to take reasonable fee and also reduce the prices of books.

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