Sharjah, May 28, 2021
Tapping into the growing global demand for manga, organisers of the 12th Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF) have created a Comics Corner for readers to browse and select their best-loved titles from the popular Japanese graphic novel genre, which a lot of SCRF visitors claim are almost impossible to find anywhere else.
It’s proved to a big boon for 16-year-old high school student Shaima who has been searching for Komi Can’t Communicate for a while. “They didn’t have this title at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) last year, so I came back thinking maybe I would have some luck this time. And look! I just got them. I’m super excited.”
“After the book fair last year, we received a lot of orders for manga titles from distributors in other GCC countries. Which is why we felt, this time, manga should not be clubbed with other books,” Sreevas Shridhar, Sales Manager of Kinokuniya Bookstores, said.
Attack of the Titans, Tokyo Ghoul, Death Note, My Hero Academia, One Piece and several other titles in Arabic and English are available for purchase at the 11-day event. “We have even translated, Captain Tsubasa into Arabic, as it is in high demand amongst our customers from this region”, Sridhar added.
The stall has been divided down the middle to allow easier access for readers of each language to get their hands on their best-loved series more easily.
The Comics Corner has allowed enthusiasts an exclusive atmosphere to walk about and select titles at leisure. Having a dedicated stall for manga titles is proving beneficial not only for bookstores and distributors, but also for readers.
“You have to know one thing; these books are not only being read by children. We have had lots of adult customers coming to the stall asking for new releases,” noted Salim Abdurrahman, distributor of Arabic language manga titles.
“Sharjah has always been in favour of promoting reading, literacy, knowledge and culture. So it is no surprise that the emirate serves as a bridge between us and our customers. My title selection for each edition of SIBF and SCRF is guided by readers I meet here in Sharjah ever year. It is a place I look forward to coming to reconnect with all these book lovers who help me stay ahead of trends,” he added.
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