Sunday, July 30, 2006

Buyers of Books

Daphne Lee comes up with another very nice book related article in StarMag. How do the big bookshops actually select their stock? She interviews the buyers of Kinokuniya and MPH. (What a nice job! Need any help?)

Ramji Rabi of MPH (a very personable young man who did my creative writing course last year and pictured left with Yvonne Chau) says:

Malaysian authors like Tash Aw (author of the The Harmony Silk Factory) tend to be popular in all the stores. And Devika Bai (The Flight of the Swans) is especially popular in Johor Baru because that was where she lived.
He goes on to say that Malay romance novels are also extremely popular, along with religious books. Malaysians seem to be paying increasing attention to literary award winners. The most popular of which have been Life of Pi by Yann Martel and The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.

I was happy to see this letter by Julianne Leow from Penang. Yes, we do need more books reviews. I'd go further. We desperately need a proper literary supplement in at least one of the Sunday papers! Bookstores can sponsor articles, and Daphne can be editor-in-chief.

3 comments:

Xeus said...

Sharon, I too read this article with interest. I've had brushes with people in the purchasing know as well. They can pick up a book, look at the covers (front and back), and immediately tell if it can sell.

bibliobibuli said...

that's very very scary!!!

Anonymous said...

"Yes, we do need more books reviews. I'd go further. We desperately need a proper literary supplement in at least one of the Sunday papers!"

I desperately need a horse, a pony and a villa in a nice quite neighbourhood, too, but then who's going to pay for it ? :) There're always people who can write, it just has to be worth their while right ? :)