Mysteries and Thai Book Clubs
The Nation on their Trends page for Tuesday May 2, 2006, run an interesting article on the Rahasakhadee Book Club. Khun Ruangdej, the driving force behind the book club, is a lawyer by trade. His book club has 3,000 members (the majority are women readers), though about 1,000 are active. Doctors and nurses are among the hardcore members. Khun Ruangdej has a growing list of mysteries translated into Thai. He publishes mysteries only for members of his book club. The print runs are small, averaging 1,500 copies per title.
He says, “I think mysteries are fun for them because they sharpen the brain. Detective works are full of puzzles. Readers have to be able to follow and foresee the outcome of the investigations. Let’s put it this way: You have to be a little smart to like this kind of fiction.”
Vincent Calvino would agree with that.