CULTURE

Little demand for pricey volumes on subject of the Olympic Games

“How much is that book?» a shopper asked one day last week in the Eleftheroudakis bookstore. He had chosen an Athens 2004 publication about the Aegean. «One-hundred-and-five euros,» replied the sales assistant. «Why did you buy the book without protest? Don’t you think it’s expensive?» we asked the buyer. «I’m a painter and I keep up with the work of all young artists,» he answered. Are Greek and foreign customers interested in illustrated volumes that have flooded the market recently? «Foreigners leaf through them, but rarely buy them. Perhaps they find them too expensive or too bulky. They prefer concise city guides, cards and translations of Greek literature. The illustrated albums are bought mainly by Greeks,» Eleftheroudakis clerks told Kathimerini. At the Politeia bookstore, things are different. The clientele is mostly Greek, but they don’t go for the Athens 2004 publications. «They find them expensive; they’re all more than 100 euros,» said the booksellers. It is the same at the Estia bookstore. «It’s like this every day,» explained the staff. There’s very little demand for illustrated volumes about the Olympic Games, and especially for the Athens 2004 publications. At least in Athens, people are buying what they usually buy.» The Patakis bookstore has been selling Greek books about the Games. «People prefer smaller books about the Olympics or children’s books,» say the sales staff. «As for foreign customers, they’re not tourists but foreigners who have a connection with Greece, have Greek friends and probably know Greek.» The Papasotiriou chain of 21 bookstores issues a list of best sellers. No Athens 2004 titles are in the top 10, though the first three are about the Olympics from other Greek publishers. Athens 2004 produced handsome volumes, but expensive, and at the last minute.