A report earlier this week in The National pointed to a (slight?) rise in demand for Arabic titles from the Emirati book-store chain Magrudy’s. The newspaper notes:
Magrudy’s bookstore says demand for Arabic titles is on the rise, and the books now account for almost 20 per cent of the chain’s book sales.
Good grief: What was it before? And “almost 20 percent”; I hope that’s 19, and not 18.5 or 17.3 or….
In El Ain, they say, the situation is nearly 50-50. But “At some central Dubai stores with large expatriate clienteles, the sales of Arabic books drop to as low as five per cent.” Yikes.
The most troubling part of this story was that Matthew Cowdery, book range manager, told The National that adult titles were the far bigger sellers in Arabic. Despite recent initiatives to improve quality, sales of Arabic children’s books continued to lag.