‘The Booker Prize is much more important to us than Dutch prizes’

‘The Booker Prize is much more important to us than Dutch prizes’
‘The Booker Prize is much more important to us than Dutch prizes’
Olaf LeeuwisImage Annabel Miedema

Your number 1, the young adult book Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros, is a hit on BookTok .

‘Yes, it is a huge hype at the moment, it shot up out of nowhere, fueled by social media. It is popular among girls aged about 16. The Dutch translation Burned in stone is also high in the Bestseller 60.’

There are also a number of older books in your top 10, such as A small life and Crime and punishment. Are they also read by bookstores?

‘No, they are popular among people in their twenties, mainly students. They are often given as gifts. We always have a classic in our top 10.

‘The books of Noam Chomsky, On Palestine and Who Rules the World, our numbers 6 and 7, are currently selling well because of the war between Israel and Hamas. Chomsky is now 94 years old, but still reaches many young people through his YouTube videos. He is an accessible political interpreter. The fact that Erwin Olaf’s photo book is going well has to do with his death. The autobiography of FriendsFor example, actor Matthew Perry, who passed away last month, also sold out within a few days.’

This week the Boekenbon Literature Prize and the NS Audience Prize were awarded. Do you get anything from this as an English-language bookstore?

‘No, there is more demand for the Booker Prize, for an English-language work of literary fiction, which will be awarded in London on November 26. The winner will receive 50 thousand pounds. The shortlist has already been announced, so some customers are already reading it. No, I have no idea who’s going to win!’

What is your book tip of the week?

The Upside-Down World – Meetings with the Dutch Masterstranslated into Dutch as: The world turned upside down – Meetings with the Dutch masters, by Benjamin Moser, who previously wrote a fantastic biography of Susan Sontag. Moser was born in America, but has lived in the Netherlands for twenty years. His way of getting a feel for the Netherlands and integrating was to often visit the Mauritshuis and the Rijksmuseum. He writes with a fresh perspective about the Dutch masters of the 17th century. Richly illustrated and beautifully published.’

Top ten best-selling books at the Mayflower bookstore in Leiden:

1. Rebecca Yarros: Fourth Wing; Piatkus
2. Toshikazu Kawaguchi: Before We Say Goodbye; Picador
3. Olly Richards: Short Stories in Dutch For Beginners; Teach Yourself Books
4. Hanya Yanagihara: A Little Life; Anchor Books
5. Fyodor Dostoyevsky: Crime and Punishment; Penguin
6. Noam Chomsky: On Palestine; Penguin
7. Noam Chomsky: Who Rules the World; Penguin
8. Roald Dahl: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Penguin
9. John Green: Paper Towns; Penguin Young Readers
10. Erwin Olaf: Strange Beauty; Hatje Cantz

The Volkskrant Book Council consists of: Bookstore Maximus, Rotterdam; Bookstore Jacques Baas, Driebergen; Dekker vd Vegt booksellers, Nijmegen; Children’s bookstore de Toverlantern, Leeuwarden; Bookstore Malpertuis, Genk (Belgium); Mayflower Bookshop, Leiden; Bookstore Broekhuis, Almelo; Van der Meulen’s Bookstore, Alkmaar.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Booker Prize important Dutch prizes


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