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Posted April. 29, 2006 06:36,   


With the end of April approaching, the bestseller market is experiencing a radical change.

While domestic novels that have been strong in the market since the start of this year have taken a step back, literature, business books, self-help books, and novels have been making the bestseller list in equal proportions. In the literature section, Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice is enjoying a steady comeback. Republished in 2003, its movie version was recently featured in theaters and led to 70,000 books in sales in one month.

The Buddhist monk Beopjeong’s proverb book “Those that Live, Be Happy” was the only book in the nonfiction category in the bestseller list, while Professor Lee Min-gyu’s self-help book “Attractive People are 1 Percent Different,” also proved to be popular. Sales for the two books were 200,000 and 300,000 books, respectively.

Pride and Prejudice is the masterpiece of Great Britain’s favorite woman writer, Jane Austin. The author herself said that “[The content is] too light, bright, and shiny; it needs a shade,” qualifying it as a romantic comedy. With 564 pages, the only love scenes in this 19th century novel consist of a kiss on the hand. The book has enjoyed steady popularity for 200 years because it appeals to women’s deep sense of “the dream of becoming Cinderella.” The book features the author’s sharp and cynical descriptions, as well as her intricate sense of writing style.

“Those that Live, Be Happy” consists of 130 works from the Buddhist monk Beopjeong’s personal and religious texts. Each word in the book fills the readers with a deep sense of meditative silence.

“The key to happiness is not in how much you possess things that you need, but in how free you are from the things you don’t need. We should not be afraid of getting old, but rather of living a ‘rusting’ life. When you live life you should live it to the fullest, while when you die you should accept death completely!”

“Attractive People are One Percent Different” is derived from knowledge acquired as a psychology professor as well as his personal experience through his relationships as a couple and as a parent. The live examples are combined with Eastern and Western maxims as well as psychology theories, explaining methods of attracting others.

The writer mentions, “There is no special formula to make someone like you,” and adds, “It is only yourself that can push you into the mud hole and carry you out of it.” To get along well with other people, be friends with yourself first!

Gi-U Lee keywoo@donga.com