Bookstores urged to rethink strategies

Updated 10 October 2014
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Bookstores urged to rethink strategies

There used to be quite a number of bookstores selling secondhand books in the Saudi capital, but the number has decreased over the years, according to a literature professor who used to teach at King Saud University (KSU).
“There are only a few bookstores remaining in the Saudi capital and they will also close down if the owners don’t make the right moves competition-wise to stay in business,” he said.
In order to attract customers, he said, they must display good books on their shelves.
“They should ask walk-in customers what kind of books they need and like to read and buy these for the local readers,” he said.
A survey of bookstores for secondhand books showed that there are at least three to four stores along King Abdullah Road. Most of them sell books in Arabic, but also have good old books in English.
These include a biography of Time Magazine founder Henry R. Luce, "Good Times, Bad Times" by Harold Evans detailing his fight as Sunday Times editor against Rupert Murdoch, William Manchester’s "American Ceasar" (biography of Gen. Douglas MacArthur) and the autobiography of former US President William J. Clinton. They also have classics in the English literature.
However, bookstores for secondhand books along Makkah Road are gone. These stores used to be a hang-out for a number of Saudi journalists working for a local Arabic daily.
The former professor added that while it’s true that many prefer to surf the Internet or use their smart devices to read their favorite books, there are readers who still collect books.
“One reason for this is the fact that they take books with them wherever they go and read whenever they have the time,” he said. Among them, he added, are teachers, students, artists and art patrons, among others.
To some, particularly teachers, college instructors and professors, writers or journalists, these are books they use in their work.
He added that travelers to other countries make it a point to visit bookstores, either for new or second-hand books as well.
“Go to Dubai, for example, and you find good books at the Dubai Mall that you can’t find in Saudi Arabia,” he said.
The supervisor at the English section of a bookstore chain in the Saudi capital said that “we have buyers who select books to order abroad.”
“We also have representatives who visit book fairs outside the Kingdom and order what they think would sell in the local market,” he said.


Saudi Arabia’s security agencies arrested 1,628 for drug crimes in the past year

Updated 21 July 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s security agencies arrested 1,628 for drug crimes in the past year

  • 1,024 of those arrested are Saudi nationals and 41 are from different nationalities
  • In cases where the suspects resisted, 33 security personnel were wounded, 10 drug traffickers were killed and 21 wounded

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s security forces announced on Friday that they have arrested a total of 1,628 people from Sept. 2018 to Mar. 2019, as part of efforts to combat the smuggling and peddling of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
The perpetrators arrested included 1,024 Saudi nationals and 41 individuals from different nationalities for their involvement in crimes of smuggling, possession, couriering and dealing of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.
During the course of their duties, the security forces faced armed resistance from smugglers and dealers in a number of security operations, resulting in injuries to 33 security personnel, in addition to the deaths of 10 and the injury of 21 drug smugglers and traffickers.
The total seized in the security operations of narcotics, psychotropic substances, weapons and cash are as follows:
1. 20,417,349 tablets of amphetamine (Captagon)
2. 18,197 tons of hashish
3: 6.5 kgs of raw heroin
4. Almost 79 kgs of impure heroin
5. Around 2 kgs of cocaine
6.Just over 32 kgs of anesthesia
7. More than 19 kgs of opium
8. 1,962,044 regulated medicinal pills
9. 439 assorted weapons, and 13,086 various live rounds
10. A total of SR 24,746,443 was seized