Culture, Life

Books more mesmerizing than ever during quarantine

Book sales increase by 30% during quarantine in Turkey, reading rate increases yearly, says online bookstore administrator

Dilara Hamit   | 23.04.2020
Books more mesmerizing than ever during quarantine


In times of isolation amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, people have been coming up with ways to entertain themselves, with book sales stronger than ever, according to an online bookstore administrator.

Raif Ipek, an executive board member of the, an online bookstore, said statistics show that during the start of the self-isolation in Turkey, the 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%.

Marking World Book Day, children who study and read at home become more likely to continue their habits ever before, Ipek said.

In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Ipek said that people have mostly been buying Mandala adult coloring books, book sets, and psychology and philosophy books from the online bookstore.

He also recommended works of Sigmund Freud, Jack London, Trevanian, Herman Melville, and Jose Saramago to readers who are in self-isolation.

Ipek 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.

Ipek said 57% of their mass customers are women, 23% of the readers are aged between 18-24, 35% are aged between 25-34 and 21% are between 35-44 years old.

Healthy diet books among top sold

Recipe books are among those which are expected to be sold out in a period where people started to bake their bread at home, however this is a false assumption, Ipek 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 competition?

Ipek says these are two different topics that should be evaluated separately.

"The reason why the expected level in the e-book has not been met so far is that the publishers' expectations have not been met sufficiently.

"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," he said.

Ipek said a software called digital right management is being offered to publishers so that they do not fear the books being copied and follow sales instantly.

He emphasized that e-books bring equal opportunities to everyone, noting that someone living in a rural area can easily find academic publishing like anyone living in a metropolis.

E-books are preferred for being cheaper than the printed book in terms of cost, therefore is an opportunity for many authors who cannot print their books.

 Book shipments during COVID-19

Except for the logistics department of Kidega, the staff has been working from home.

The bookstore has rent private cars for the transportations of the workers, the storehouse is being disinfected every 20 days and the fever of the staff is being checked three times a day.

The store has decreased the number of staff working at the same time trying to preserve social distancing and have been supplying masks and gloves.

Ipek said in this process, publishers and cargo companies faced several problems such as delays however Kidega customer services are always on service for recovery.

"Because we know how upset people can get when they do not receive their books on time," he noted.

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