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Tintin is making children read, thank Steven Spielberg

His Holiness the Dalai Lama with Tintin's book of Tibet. Photo: ICT
The latest Tintin movie has done a Harry Potter by nudging children to reach out for books instead of their Playstation or Internet.
Acclaimed Hollywood director Steven Spielberg's movie on Tintin, which hit theatres a couple of months ago, has apparently renewed children’s interest in reading.

Bookstores and libraries report that the demand for Tintin books has increased noticeably since the movie's release.

“We have been selling Tintin books for 28 years and the demand never went lean, but in the last few days, they are moving faster and stocks are depleting quickly,” said Shashidhar, marketing manager of Sapna Book House, Gandhinagar, which is one of the biggest sellers of Tintin books in Bangalore. He stopped short of saying that this surge is due to the movie.

Sudhakar Prabhu, a teacher based in Mangalore, told DNA that when he came to Bangalore recently, his son and daughter asked him to bring Tintin books, each requesting for separate titles—Red Rackham’s Treasure and The Broken Ear. He could get only one of these on MG Road and had to go to Gandhinagar to get his hands on the other one. He said this was the first time his children asked him to bring books from Bangalore; they usually ask for CDs of video games.

Prabhu said his children told him they watched the latest Tintin movie in Mangalore and wanted to read all the titles before the next Tintin movie hits theatres.

R Venkatesh of Geeta Book House, Mysore, said the demand for Tintin’s books has been steady in Mysore. He said fewer children visit bookstores in the age of Internet and the recent interest in Tintin titles is a welcome change.

High price
Venkatesh added that his interaction with Tintin enthusiasts and their parents revealed that the books are too costly, with the middle-class family frowning on the price. The price factor has made many children turn to libraries to get the books. Rahul Pai of Mannagudda, Mangalore, said the books available in libraries are in a pathetic condition. He procured Land of Black Gold, Tintin in America, The Castafiore Emerald and Tintin in Tibet to read during Christmas holidays.

“I found the edges were cut and some conversations were missing, but I did bring them home as I wanted to read them badly,” he added.

In search of Tintin, people are flocking to second-hand book stores too. Bangalore's largest second-hand book sellers in Balaepete have jacked up the prices of used books of Tintin. The titles are priced between `200 and `250, depending on the condition of the book.


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