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What they're reading in Iran

What they're reading in Iran

By / July 23, 2008

The Tehran Times ran a piece on Sunday asking booksellers throughout Iran what their customers are buying. The answer: Harry Potter, Persian translations of Khaled Hosseini's "The Kite Runner" and "A Thousand Splendid Suns," the books of American motivational speaker Anthony Robbins, and the writings of Australian television producer Rhonda Byrne (author of "The Secret.")

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At least that's the case at a bookstore in an affluent area of Tehran.

But the week of Father's Day, the same bookseller said, the bestsellers were historical books, including the Persian translations of "Darius and the Persians" by Walther Hinz and the six-volume "The Diaries of Assadollah Alam."

The piece surveys booksellers throughout Iran and the tastes of Iranian readers and those in the US are more similar than one might imagine. Another commonalty, however, that's a bit disheartening: Just as in the US, an Iranian bookseller notes, bookselling as a career "doesn't provide sufficient income."

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