Το βιβλιοπωλείο στην Ελλάδα, 1974-2009 : η αντοχή της παράδοσης και η αλλαγή του παραδείγματος
Μπακουνάκης, Νίκος Α., 1956-
Βιβλιοπωλεία -- Ελλάδα Βιβλιοπώλες και βιβλιεμπόριο Bookstores -- Greece Booksellers and bookselling
Πάντειο Πανεπιστήμιο Κοινωνικών και Πολιτικών Επιστημών
The subject of this study is the bookstore in Greece from 1974 until 2009: the persistence of the traditional model and the changing bookstore enterprise. An attempt is made to shine light on important dimensions of the bookstore, which is the preeminent space for the promotion and sale of books in Greece. The theoretical tools used to investigate this subject include a comparative historical analysis, which was especially fruitful in tracing the causal mechanisms for the birth, development and transformation of historical ‗micro-phenomena‘. Two main criteria were considered in the selection of this methodology: a) the bookstore as a „micro-phenomenon‟ is particularly suited to a combined economic and sociological/cultural analysis, through the contemporary approaches of cultural studies using as a tool the collection of primary data, on an individual and interpersonal level, which is then examined within the changing historical context; and b) the fact that the subject of this study, the bookstore in Greece from 1974 until 2009, remains an unexplored area within academic research. This case study was done through personal interviews using structured questionnaires during the period March-June 2009 – on a sample of forty-two (42) interviewees, including booksellers and heads of book departments in department stores, publishers, researchers, translators and a librarian – and provided the primary data for tracing phenomena, developments and trends in the Greek book industry, with a focus on the bookstore.Thanks to the discovery of typography in the 15th century and the mass production, distribution and consumption in the 18th and 19th centuries the book constituted the first mass market news and entertainment medium. The great economic, social and cultural changes following the Second World War had a catalytic influence on all print media. The challenges for the book today are multidimensional, for both the book and other print media (newspapers and magazines). The Gutenberg print ‗universe‘ already coexists with and may later be completely replaced by its immaterial digital ‗alter ego‘. Several contemporary commentators have already noted the elements of a new model for the book industry of the early 21st century.It has been observed that Greek book production, distribution and consumption, in particular the birth and development of the bookstore enterprise, were never cut off from the rest of the West in any historical period. In keeping with the working hypothesis, specific pertinent questions were set:→ Regarding the self-image of Greek booksellers in terms of their social responsibility, it was observed that they have always promoted their role as an intermediary between knowledge and the reader and often as an „enlightener‟ of the Greek public.→ Regarding the perception of Greek booksellers and other book professionals and experts on the demands and needs of the public it was observed that to a great degree they have followed international trends and there is an understanding of the new needs of new groups amongst the reading public.→ Certain trends were observed regarding the business behaviour of Greek booksellers. The new western model that emerged from the 1980s, in terms of the organisation, size and features of the bookstore, was followed by a significant number of large as well as small-to-medium booksellers. It became apparent that the secret to success was to adapt the western-style bookselling model to the specifics of the domestic market (small population and language, idiosyncratic reader behaviour, small yet stable core of booklovers, fierce competition).→ The vision held by Greek booksellers of the ideal bookstore of the future reinforces the image of the socially responsible businessperson who is sensitive to the needs of the public and flexible in adapting to the western model. In the foreseeable future booksellers themselves imagine a modern, functional bookstore enterprise that is flexible towards the public‘s ‗new needs and desires‘ yet with parallel physical and digital activities and a full catalogue of titles.→ As regards the attitude of Greek booksellers and the other participants of the study towards the Greek state‟s book policy a highly critical position can be noted, with an emphasis on the weaknesses of the education system, the inadequate network and insufficient operation of school and public libraries, the short-term character of the state‘s policy, the indifference towards the needs of booksellers, the absence of advanced studies in bookselling and the lack of support for the translation of Greek titles into foreign languages.→ As regards the observations made by the Greek booksellers and other participants on the changes to the Greek book market from 1974 until 2009, opinions coincided despite differences in the interpretation of developments concerning: a) the lack of education and the small reading public; b) the changing model of the publishing and bookselling world; and, c) the concurrence of increased book production, popular and best-selling literature and the appearance of new groups amongst the reading public (from the mid-1980s or from the 1990s, according to most).As regards the position of the book and the bookstore in the contemporary „hyper-capitalist‟ world amongst all the other observations, it can be concluded that there are serious indications that the Greek book market contains operational features with profound subjective – ‗irrational‘, it could even be said – characteristics. Within all the Western models, a special form of selling and purchasing the book that differs from that of other consumer products and services can be observed: ‗a culture of retail sale and consumption‘ of the book. The book continues to be a ‗special good‘, and its production, promotion and distribution continue to constitute a ‗creative industry‘ with a broad ability to express ‗individualism‘ and ‗irrationality‘ and even ‗resistance‘ to the general business model of the era. Here it can be observed that the Greek bookstore model does not differ from the rest of the Western model, even though in the small, idiosyncratic domestic market in Greece are more profound the subjective and „irrational‟ trends on the part of booksellers.
Διατριβή (διδακτορική) - Πάντειο Πανεπιστήμιο. Τμήμα Επικοινωνίας, Μέσων και Πολιτισμού, 2012