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Jakarta Post

A year on, Kenari booksellers struggle to stay in business

  • News Desk

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, March 3, 2020   /  03:20 pm
The Jakarta Post Image
Books are on display at Kenari book market in Central Jakarta, on August 20, 2019. Since its opening in April 2019, the secondhand book market has struggled to attract customers.(JP/Seto Wardhana)

Booksellers in Kenari Market continue to struggle to sell their books amid Jakarta’s lack of interest in reading and the rise of e-books and online shops, almost a year after the Jakarta administration opened the affordable book market in Central Jakarta. Lena, a 50-year-old bookseller, seemed bored sitting on her chair at her book stall at Kenari market on Monday. She had been waiting for customers to buy her books for over two hours, but no one had visited her store. She said that selling books at the market was the toughest period of her more than 30-year career as a bookseller. Lena – who used to sell books at the nearby, more popular Pasar Senen – reminisced about a time when she was able to sell up to 50 books a day before she moved to Kenari. “The market has been lacking visitors ever since it began operation in April of last year. The last ti...