Little Prince exhibit brings collectors together
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
AA PhotoTurkish collectors of one of the best known novels in the world, Antoine de Saint Exupery’s “Le Petit Prince” (The Little Prince), have come together in Ankara at an exhibition.
Ankara University Faculty of Communications academic Mehmet Sobacı, who has been collecting “The Little Prince” books for 20 years, said he has 860 books in 144 languages and dialects, nearly 400 of which had been gifted to him.
“We have books from all around the world as well as the ones provided by my friends, who know my interest. I also want books from people through social media. In this way, I enrich my personal collection and also contribute to others’ collections,” he said.
Sobacı said he kept the books in a bookshelf in the living room of his house rather than in a glass case so they could be available to touch all the time.
“This is what makes book collections different from a stamp collection. There are notes in the books. Children drew paintings. They have dedications,” he said.
Sobacı said he did not remember how he started collecting “The Little Prince” books, adding, “I don’t remember what I felt when I got the second book. When I started 20 years ago, the Internet did not exist. I didn’t know about other collectors like me.”
Sobacı explained his thoughts about “The Little Prince,” saying, “With such a wide fanbase, of course this book has magic. Among the visitors of the exhibition were students, space engineers, biologists, designers and travelers. In many languages, ‘The Little Prince’ is the second-most translated book, after the holy book of that language. I define this book as a ‘folk in praise of a lost childhood.’ It can be the reference book for everyone who remembers the old beautiful days. I think that children should not read it before the age of 15. In this way the number of its fans may increase.”
The goal is to open a museum
Another collector, Yıldıray Lise, who has gifted many books to Sobacı’s collection, said he started collecting “The Little Prince” in 2008. He said he had reached out to Sobacı and the idea of opening an exhibition came up.
He said the dream of an exhibition was realized and the next goal was to open “The Little Prince Museum.”
Lise said they had not taken a step toward founding a museum yet and had no idea about where it would be located. “Like the other examples in the other parts of the world, we dream of a place where we can display not only books but also other objects related to the Little Prince,” he added.
The exhibition, which will continue at the Ankara Tayfa Kitap Kafe until May 24, displays 170 books from 47 collectors. It has also organized various events such as talks, film screenings and book readings during the exhibition.
Included among the books is the smallest edition, which is the size of a 25 Turkish Kuruş coin, an embossed print for the visually disabled, a print that can be read through a mirror, a Morse Alphabet print and the first Turkish print from 1953.
The smallest collector is an 18-month-old baby, thanks to his aunt’s collection, while the oldest collector is 63 years old.