File - People attend the opening of the Arab Book Fair at BIEL in Beirut, Monday, Dec. 3, 2012. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Contrary to a commonly held belief, the popularity of printed books is on the rise in Lebanon, as evidenced by the turnover of this year's Beirut International Arab Book Fair, according to several publishing houses who took part in the exhibition.Idriss said the turnover at this year's edition of BIABF was far from disappointing, with the level of sales almost the same as last year.Idriss said new novels and children's books were most in demand. Bestsellers at Dar al-Adab included books by novelists Hanan al-Shaykh, Wassim al-Aaraj and Bassima al-Khatib. Idriss noted that wholesalers from countries that Lebanese publishing houses could no longer reach because of instability, such as Libya and Iraq, have also bought books from the BIABF this year. Other reasons for the drop in sales were the deteriorating economic and security situations, according to Fleiti.He said that topping sales at Riad El-Rayyes Books this year were poetry books, novels and political titles.
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