A World of Books in Beyoglu Istanbul
For what number of decades have we been capable of watch what's going
on in the world from probably the most comfortable chair in our living
room? And today, the advantages that digital media have delivered to our
lives are too many to enumerate. With a telephone line and a keyboard,
we can now attain anywhere in the world, go to museums and galleries at
will, and skim the morning newspapers without walking to the native shop
in the morning. We can do banking transactions without going to the
financial institution, store without going to the retailers, chat with
our friends without assembly in a café, and even conduct love affairs
without a lover insight, via the Internet. All the ‘trouble’ of dealing
with store keepers, bank clerks, and likewise living with another person
could become a factor of the previous, and similarly, sooner or later,
there may be no need for newspapers or books.
But no, that may by no means be, as a result of simply as many people can not expertise love without touching, so they will still wish to maintain a newspaper or a e-book of their hand.
After finding the guide they need on the shelves, after working their fingers over the cover, they will nonetheless want to buy it, yet keep it at their bedside till they've completed studying it, and again put it away on a shelf afterward. And these books which somebody keeps will in time discover new buyers and new sellers, simply as they do at present. The story of Librairie de Péra, which held its twenty ninth e-book public sale in November, can also be the story of books that people kept and beloved and the story of antiquarian and rare books in Turkey.
The history of Turkey’s antiquarian guide sellers goes back centuries. When French envoy Antoine Galland visited Turkey in 1672-1673, he wrote at size in his diary concerning the antiquarian booksellers in the grand covered bazaar of Istanbul. That was a time when bookselling was nonetheless a career with its commerce guild closed to outsiders. After one of many fires which incessantly swept by way of the town, the booksellers moved out of this bazaar right into a small certainly one of their very own, at present’s Beyazit Sahaflar Carsisi.
Meanwhile, the town’s Christian, Jewish and Levantine communities had their booksellers on the road of Yuksekkaldirim north of the Golden Horn. This well-known steep avenue linking Karakoy on the shore to Istiklal Caddesi on the top of the hill was once full of bookshops, and until the early years of the 20th-century books in each European language have been to be discovered here.
Librairie de Péra is the one surviving consultant of the Yuksekkaldirim booksellers today. It stands diagonally opposite the Galata Mevlevihane dervish lodge (at present the Museum of Divan Literature). The bookshop’s last owner, Talya Nomidis, inherited the store from her father, Miltiadis Nomidis, a distinguished Byzantine archaeologist. Its current owner is Ugur Guracar, who for years has passed his days within the shop, not only selling books however discussing books with the numerous who drop by.
He was still a college pupil when he took over the store and its stock of three thousand books in 1984, on the condition that he stored it as a bookshop. Today Librairie de Péra has a listing of forty thousand books, not only in fashionable and Ottoman Turkish, but additionally books about Turkey in Arabic, Persian, English, German, French, Italian, Greek, Armenian, Serbian and many other languages. He has six thousand local and two thousand foreign customers. Life as an antiquarian bookshop proprietor right now involves a bunch of concepts, like cataloging and library applications, network, blanket orders, international library databases, intranet, Internet, web sites, subscriptions, and standing orders.
The antiquarian booksellers’ commerce suffered a lousy slump with the transformations of the 1950s when the large old homes with room for their libraries have been pulled down to make way for blocks of flats, and the books went out with the old furnishings, pouring onto the market in huge quantities.
Just as the furnishings that at one time was offered by the kilo now sells for astronomical sums at public sale, so old books at the moment are valued once once more. Although Ugur Guracar studied politics and digital engineering at university, he has been an antiquarian e-book vendor for the past fifteen years and is the proprietor of Turkey’s oldest bookshop. He also organized the primary public book auction held in Turkey since Ottoman instances.
While a few of his clients are nonetheless passers-by and guide lovers who keep to speak about books over tea and low, the bulk are researchers into Turkey and the Middle East, establishments, universities, and libraries in Turkey and everywhere in the world. Librairie de Péra began organizing auctions in 1985. Guracar explains that considered one of his goals was to restore the popularity of antiquarian booksellers as a respected career at a time once they had been dismissed as merely a type of junk vendor. So far, these auctions have found new owners for five thousand books.
The latest public sale held as ordinary on the Pera Palas Hotel supplied on the market not only antiquarian and rare books however manuscripts, Ottoman bindings, maps, illustrations, prints, signed books, and paperwork, ranging in value from 10 to 1000 Turkish liras ($1.50-$one hundred fifty). All these books and paperwork are rare, however for numerous causes. What are these reasons? Guracar explains. ‘You have a look at the binding, for example, and see that it is made of leather tanned so many years ago by craftsman X, from the cover of goats on mountain Z!
The typeface is not used by any printer anyplace on the earth, the marbling is of a sort that no one is able to duplicating at present, or it's printed on paper from one other era. Of course, you must bear in mind the wear and tear of time. Both materials and the craftsmen who made them belong to an extended-gone past. Just as it is unimaginable to commission an antiquarian Greek statue right now, so you cannot reproduce such a guide. That is what an antiquarian e-book is!’
And what does Guracar take into consideration promoting antiquarian books over the Internet? ‘The Internet is only a vehicle for folks to seek out the books they're looking for. But it's a compelling vehicle. People today haven't obtained the time to go looking for their groceries, by no means mind search by way of tons of of books in antiquarian bookshops. Instead, wherever there's a pc and a phone line out there, you could have solely to enter such info because the writer, title, publication date, publisher, or subject to rapidly discover the books during which you have an interest from amongst thousands. This is an indispensable device for the one who is aware of what they are on the lookout for. For example, we've a website that presently presents twenty-5 thousand old and rare book titles. Very soon, all our actions, even the auctions, will take place over the Internet, and I is not going to even have to go away my tiny shop!’
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