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Sunday, July 20, 2008
Iranian bookstores have different bestseller lists
Tehran Times Culture Desk
TEHRAN -- The various genres and titles outsell one another in bookstores around Iran. Different bookstores in Tehran, Qom, Sanandaj and Masjed-e Soleiman name different books as their bestsellers.
J.K.Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Persian translations of Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner” and “A Thousand of Splendid Sun” by Mehdi Ghabraii, books written by the American professional speaker Anthony Robbins and Australian television producer Rhonda Byrne are among the bestsellers in a bookstore on Mirdamad Street, located in a wealthy district in Tehran.
Last week historical books including the Persian translations of Walther Hinz’s “Darius and the Persians” by Parviz Rajabi and the six-volume “The Diaries of Assadollah Alam” outsold others as the preferred present for Father’s Day in Iran, the bookseller told MNA reporter on Friday.
Storybooks written by Mahmud Dowlatabadi and Hushang Golshiri have many fans for example Golshiri’s collection of short stories “The Dark Side of the Moon” is among of best sellers, he added.
He went on to say that some of the books written by younger writers sometimes sell well but most of the times it takes time to become known by readers, he said.
Children’s and adolescents’ books sell well after schools close in summer, the bookseller in the children’s section of the bookstore told MNA.
The youth are more interested in imaginative books and Harry Potter series is still one of the bestsellers, she added.
Children are more interested in fiction books. “Mi Mi Ni” a book composed by Nasser Keshavarz is one of the bestseller in children books, she noted.
A bookstore on bookstore-packed Enqelab Avenue opposite the University of Tehran that sells technical books has another list of best sellers.
“We have books on music, theater and cinema genres in our bookstores. Our customers are mostly the youth and university students so we are busy during most times of the year,” the bookseller told MNA.
Behzad Ghaderi’s translation of “The Death of Tragedy” by George Schneider, Persian translation of Jean Ferris’ “Music: The Art of Listening” by Katayun Sarami, and “The Dastgah Concept in Persian Music” by Hormoz Farhat are among the bestseller in that bookstore.
Other Iranian cities deal with major problems in book distributing and financial pressures. Many of the bestsellers are editions that date back to two or three years ago.
A bookseller in the Iranian western city Sanandaj that is located 512 km from Tehran told MNA reporter that they do not receive the latest editions of books in a timely manner and then when they arrive, they are no longer up-to-date.
Selling stationery and books that are on the shelf provides the income of the bookstore, he lamented.
A book seller in Iranian southwestern city Masjed-e Soleiman, which lies 1030 km from Tehran, believed that the number of book customers in the city decreased last year but children’s and adolescents’ books still sell well, he added.
“The Legends of World Nations”, “Gulliver’s Travels” and the nine-volume collection “The Story of Iranian Thought” are some of the bestsellers for children and adolescents.
Bahman Farzaneh’s translation of Alba de Céspedes’ book “The Secret Diary”, Gabriel García Márquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude” and Zoya Pirzad’s “We will get used to It” and Mehdi Ghabraii’s translation of “The Kite Runner” are some of the best sellers.
He said that Masjed-e Soleiman’s citizens are more interested in fiction literature. Also history and psychology books are selling well in the city.
He concluded that the book selling is a cultural activity that has its own problems and also that it doesn’t provide sufficient income.
He said that he continues his career because of his own interest.
A bookseller In Qom, a city 156 km from Tehran, told the MNA reporter that books on psychology, cooking, devotions and methods of successful living, including books written by Anthony Robbins, are some of the best sellers.
He said that customers enthusiastically buy children’s books published by Qadiani, Shabaviz and Mehrab-e Qalam.