Monday, April 04, 2005

Casualty of Book War

Last weekend Jutarnji list and Večernji list (Vecernji list) published results of two surveys about Croatian reading habits. Both newspapers claimed to be the most read among Croatians. I tend to believe the survey giving the top spot to Jutarnji list, and for a simple reason. It is more likely that Jutarnji list is going to have bigger circulation because it is both the “serious” daily newspaper and tabloid. Večernji list enjoys reputation of “serious” newspaper, while the tabloid status is reserved for 24 sata, which holds 3rd place in both surveys.

However, it seems that Jutarnji list publishers are increasingly uncomfortable about other two daily newspapers (who happen to be published by same media conglomerate). So they upped the ante and used another secret weapon in their endless war to secure leadership. Only two years after offering snobbish literary classics with bargain prices to Croatian masses, they offered the most popular book of our times – J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, which would be sold on newsstands for approximately 12 €.

And just like the bargain DVD on newsstands had devastating effect on Croatian film and video distribution, it is very likely that those bargain books are going to badly hurt Croatian publishing industry.


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