A Tale of Two Cities


During recent years, the publishing industry in Mexico has witnessed continuous growth. It is estimated that approximately 293 million books were produced and 142 million were sold in 2012 in Mexico. Bookstores that also sell books online are growing to become the lucrative segment within this industry. Furthermore, the Mexican government has recently proposed a favorable Book-Reading Promotional Law to encourage book distribution and reading proving the importance of publishing and reading in the country.


The first printing machine in Lebanon was installed in 1610, the first in the Middle East. Another one in 1732 followed it. There are now more than 700 publishing houses in Lebanon and more than 7,500 titles are published every year (statistics 2007). Beirut is renowned as the ‘printing house’ of the Middle East. This position is based on the fact that it has more printing houses per capita than any other country in the area. For this reason, Beirut’s image has been enhanced as an international cultural and artistic center, and acquired its symbolic role as a place for exchange amongst cultures.