LIMA: Amid an Epidemic of Book Piracy, Authors Shrug and Say, ‘AT LEAST They’re Reading’ – The Informal City Dialogues

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Pirated books in Lima cost the publishing industry tens of millions of dollars, but for many writers, not being pirated is a bigger cause for worry.


For decades Jiron Quilca, a street in downtown Lima, has held the dubious distinction of being one of Limeños favorite places for buying pirated books. Dozens of shops selling pirated books line Quilca, their products displayed on wooden shelves that peek discreetly out of doorways onto the street.


Nestled among the shops is Libros Adam, a small store that carries a wide array of pirated books. Self-help books and international bestsellers tend to be among the biggest sellers here, including popular titles by Dan Brown, John Grisham and Stephen King. Often the pirated copies share shelf space with used books, and even some legitimate copies.


“We also have the Game of Thrones series,” the shopkeeper at Libros Adam says from his stool. The air inside the shop is dense and smells of musty pages. He’s reading his newspaper, and is wary of answering too many questions about his business. “If you want something we don’t have, we can get that for you, too,” he assures me.

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