Thu 06 December 2012

Notes from the Underground #17

The download figures for citybook podcasts have risen spectacularly over the course of 2012, to an impressive total of 26,000 for the month of November! Our colleague Miet Vanhassel has been keeping an eye on the statistics, and is just the person to tell us which citybook is listeners’ favourite. December is a great time for best-of lists, and so Miet presents us with the top ten most downloaded citybooks.


Miet Vanhassel

The story behind the figures and the figures behind the story

 

The start of every month is the time for statistics. Looking at the numbers of visitors and downloads for the deBuren, the Radio Books and the citybooks websites is always an exciting moment: just like athletes always hope to improve on Olympic records so we hope our efforts are rewarded with growing audience figures. And often that is the case, too, for which particular thanks must go to you, dear reader and listener!

Two Dutch authors take pole position in November’s top ten: Maxim Februari and Arnon Grunberg. The very first citybook, Bernard Dewulf’s story about Ostend, remains an all-time favourite this month, and over the whole of 2012.

Miet VanhasselThe Dutch-language podcasts are doing very well indeed, not only because it’s the language in which the most citybooks are available, but also because a large part of deBuren’s audience is Dutch-speaking. That said, thanks to our partner cities we are constantly discovering a larger audience beyond The Netherlands and Belgium, and this is reflected in the statistics. The French- and English-language podcasts have been listened to more and more over the last few months, and our Afrikaans, Romanian and Georgian collections are also moving well.

This month’s great surprise: that Arnon Grunbergs citybook A Reported Offence suddenly reached a large Francophone audience in November! Or might it be that the Dutch-language readers are making the most of the extra didactical benefits that citybooks offers? You can, after all, listen to the French podcast at the same time as reading the Dutch version as text. A fine exercise in language learning.

In November’s top ten we encounter, alongside Dutch and Belgian authors, the Macedonian author Goce Smilevski and the Georgian writer Lasha Bugadze. Their citybooks about Chartres and Tbilisi respectively are finding a considerable number of listeners. Bugadze’s citybook about Turnhout is currently being translated by into English, Dutch and French and will be online in the New Year.

 

November 2012 Top Ten

1 - Maxim Februari - Ondergrondse fuifzaal - citybooks Turnhout
2 - Arnon Grunberg - Aangifte - citybooks Lublin
3 - Arnon Grunberg - Déposition - citybooks Lublin
4 - Bernard Dewulf - Fragmenten uit Oostende - citybooks Oostende
5 - Thomas Gunzig - Het reservaat - citybooks Charleroi
6 - Goce Smilevski - De kathedraal en het circus - citybooks Chartres
7 - Abdelkader Benali - Beeld van een gewapende strijder op een paard - citybooks Skopje
8 - Onno Kosters - Zwaartekracht en tegenwicht - citybooks Graz
9 - Abdelkader Benali - Uitgeteld en plat in Sheffield - citybooks Sheffield
10 - Lasha Bugadze - Een lied over Tbilisi - citybooks Tbilisi

 

In 2012, the Dutch-language men have proven to be the download big shots. Notable for us is that our small (but perfectly formed!) supply of poetry is doing so well. The top ten includes no fewer than three citybooks in verse: two by Onno Kosters and one by Toast Coetzer.

2012 Top Ten (January to November, inclusive)

1 - Arnon Grunberg - Aangifte - citybooks Lublin
2 - Bernard Dewulf - Fragmenten uit Oostende - citybooks Oostende
3 - Abdelkader Benali - Uitgeteld en plat in Sheffield - citybooks Sheffield
4 - Abdelkader Benali - Beeld van een gewapende strijder op een paard - citybooks Skopje
5 - Lasha Bugadze - Een lied over Tbilisi - citybooks Tbilisi
6 - Onno Kosters - Alles en niets - citybooks Utrecht
7 - Toast Coetzer - Ik zit in de zee - citybooks Grahamstown
8 - Onno Kosters - Zwaartekracht en tegenwicht - citybooks Graz
9 - Bernard Dewulf - Snippets from Ostend - citybooks Oostende
10 - Saskia De Coster - Honderdveertig kilo liefde - citybooks Skopje

 

In English and French, too, Bernard Dewulf and Arnon Grunberg have been attracting significant attention!

Top 3 English-language Podcasts 2012

1 - Bernard Dewulf - Snippets from Ostend - citybooks Oostende
2 - Toast Coetzer - I am sitting in the sea - citybooks Grahamstown
3 - Lasha Bugadze - A Song for Tbilisi - citybooks Tbilisi

Top 3 French-language Podcasts 2012

1 - Arnon Grunberg - Déposition - citybooks Lublin
2 - Bernard Dewulf - Fragments d'Ostende - citybooks Oostende
3 - Joost Zwagerman - Vallei prend de la hauteur ou : satori à Sheffield - citybooks Sheffield

 

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