Although our tight holiday schedule couldn’t fit a time where we could do a proper tour of bookstores in the countries we have visited last holiday, whenever I had the chance, I managed to snap some travel pictures that are related to bookish stuff.
The following two are the ones I took from Budapest, Hungary featured several English translated bestsellers at a bookstore’s window display.
There is a big poster on “I Am Nujood: Age 10 and Divorced”. Other books on display are Susan Durant’s Sacred Heart, Paul Coelho’s Brida and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray and Love. It was encouraging to see so many non-fiction books on display. In one main street of Hungary, there are 5 bookstores on the same row, which gave me an impression that Hungarians are well read and translated many of English book titles. The street that I walked on has 5 bookstores adjacent to one another and it is encouraging to think that these bookstores thrive because people are actually reading in this city.
Perhaps the bookshelf at the service apartment reception desk that we stayed in Budapest has a collection of books that I want to read. Rebecca Shaw, Bernard Cornwell, Marian Keyes, Khaled Hosseini’s A thousand splendid suns, Lisa Gardner’s Saying Goodbye, Eragon, to name a few and some other titles that may have left behind by the patrons of the apartment.
Although I didn’t have the chance to visit a book store in Vienna, but it is safe to say that German language book publishing is prolific and mature.
In Brastilava, Slovakia however, I spent a little more time looking at books at the supermarket and bookstore. One would expect the bestsellers title to be on the shelf of a supermarket store but I could recognise only very few titles, except the Twilight saga. Stephenie Meyer is a big hit in this part of the world (including Hungary) and I have great amusement of doing a little translation based on the book covers. Sumrak would be Twilight, Nov – New Moon, Zatnen – Eclipse, Usvit – Breaking Dawn, now… I need someone who speaks Slovakian language to confirm that. 😉
Most of the books on sale were romantic novels and local Slovaks authors’ books. There are a good range of children’s books in local Slovakian language and one or two children’s cartoon characters that looked familiar to me, such as Thomas the Engine.
The result for bigger bookstore called Pant Rhei was more encouraging, I saw more of English language books translated to the Slovakian language, for example Paul Coelho’s Valkyrie, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love and Committed: A Sceptic Makes Peace with Marriage.
I even saw translated Chinese classic “The Dreams of Red Chamber” 紅樓夢 on display, but the Spring copy is missing. 😉
Europe is so diverse and people speak different languages. It is encouraging to think many of the English titles are translated to the local languages. To be fair, I should seek out translated work of European writers. The beauty and sophistication of culture that I saw from these cities surely comes from a group of people that I could learn something from.