Thursday, July 24, 2008

What they're reading in Iran

Straight from the "Tehran Times" comes an interesting (if occasionally ungrammatical) article about what books are selling in Iran. And no, they don't mention Uranium Enrichment for Dummies. Some things are evidently constants everywhere -- Harry Potter, for example. ("The youth are more interested in imaginative books," according to one bookseller.) Not surprisingly, Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns) is popular. Of course the majority of books are of specific Iranian interest, especially history and literature. But a few classic titles familiar to Western readers are mentioned, such as Gulliver's Travels, and A Hundred Years of Solitude. And the Islamic Republic isn't immune to self-help mania: popular writers in that area include Rhonda Byrne (The Secret), and, oddly enough, Anthony Robbins (does Iranian TV show American infomercials?).

As for those of us in the business, perhaps we can take comfort that some complaints are universal: according to the article, one bookstore owner "concluded that bookselling is a cultural activity that has its own problems and also that it doesn't provide sufficient income."

More can be found here.

Anthony Robbins???

No comments: