In times of isolation amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, people have been coming up with ways to entertain themselves, and book sales are stronger than ever, according to an online bookstore administrator.
Raif İpek, an executive board member of the kidega.com, an online bookstore, said statistics show that during the start of Turkey's self-isolation, book sales rose by 32% compared to the previous week.
He noted that during the current quarantine process in the country, book stocks were renewed and book sales increased by 30%.
Remarking about World Book Day on April 23, İpek said children who study and read at home are more likely to continue these habits later in life.
In an interview with Anadolu Agency (AA), İpek said that people have mostly been buying Mandala adult coloring books, book sets, psychology and philosophy books from the online store.
He also recommended the works of Sigmund Freud, Jack London, Trevanian, Herman Melville and Jose Saramago to readers who are in self-isolation.
İpek said children should also take a shot at reading "Momo," "Forrest Carter" and "My Sweet Orange Tree."
"Unfortunately, when we compare Turkey with developed countries, our reading habits are low. However, we encounter an increasing reading rate every year. Especially the millennials and their teachers have been putting up a great effort on practicing reading habits," he said.
İpek said 57% of their customers are women, while 23% of the readers are aged 18-24, 35% are aged 25-34 and 21% are aged 35-44.
Recipe books are among those that were expected to sell out in this period with people baking at home, however, this was a false assumption, İpek said.
Cooks at home prefer online sources like Youtube to find and serve their favorite dishes, he added.
He said people have been focusing on healthy diet books, specifically on strengthening immunity, allergy-friendly recipes and "grain brain" books.
Are e-books taking over the competition?
İpek says print works and e-books are two different topics that should be evaluated separately.
"The reason why the expected level in the e-book (market) has not been met so far is that the publishers' expectations have not been met sufficiently," he said.
"The publisher should be sure about the copy of the books and the accuracy of the sales figures, and e-books make it hard to follow up," İpek added.
İpek said digital rights management software is being offered to publishers so that they do not fear books being copied and they can instantly follow sales.
He emphasized that e-books bring equal opportunities to everyone, noting that someone living in a rural area can easily find academic publishing, just like anyone living in a metropolis.
E-books are preferred because they are cheaper than printed books, creating an opportunity for many authors who cannot afford to print their own books.