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Haruki’s new novel surpasses ‘1Q84’ in sales on Day 1

Haruki’s new novel surpasses ‘1Q84’ in sales on Day 1

Posted July. 13, 2017 07:17,   

Updated July. 13, 2017 07:36

"Killing Commendatore," a new full-length novel that Japanese writer Haruki Murakami has published for the first time in seven years, has been released in Korea on Wednesday, with its sales picking up speed. Kyobo Bookstore sold 10,400 books (5,200 sets) in total of the two-volume novel including preorders as of 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Kyobo Bookstore’s Gwanghwamun main branch opened a separate sale booth for the novel. The store plans to run a separate bookshelf that offers a collection of music CDs that are mentioned in Haruki’s high-profile literary works and flagship books from Thursday.

"Killing Commendatore" reportedly has preorders that are more than three times that of his previous works. According to online bookstore Aladdin, a total of 4,979 copies of the new novel’s Volume 1 have been sold through preorders. This translates into 3.7 times the sale of Volume 1 (2009) of his book "1Q84," and three times the sale of his book "Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage (2013)." By age, people in their 30s (43.3 percent) numbered the most among the buyers of the new novel in Korea, followed by those in their 40s (28.1 percent) and 20s (19 percent), respectively.

“The number of copies of ‘Killing Commendatore’ sold through preorders is largest among Haruki’s works that have been released thus far,” said Choi Won-ho, foreign novel merchandizer at Aladdin. “Considering that the main buyers of his book ‘1Q84’ were people in their 20s (27.6 percent), the age level of readers of his books also seems to be gradually increasing as they get older along with the novelist.”

Hyo-Lim Son aryssong@donga.com