Wednesday 06 July 2022

Book sales reach a new peak but bookshops are struggling

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Book sales reached a 10 year peak in 2021 with 43 million copies sold but bookshops are struggling, figures from book promotion organisation CPNB have shown.

Online sales shot up by 19% but physical bookshops suffered because of the lockdown of the first few months of 2021 and the pre-Christmas closure. Despite attempts to persuade people to ‘buy local’ the number of books sold in shops fell by 7%.

Libraries were also affected by the lockdowns and lending figures were down 10% on the previous year.

Children’s books were the most popular of all genres, a sign, the CPNB said, that coronavirus had made parents realise the importance of reading to their children and stimulating them to read themselves.

The market for mostly English language books grew by 28% compared with just 1% for books in Dutch.

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‘Book sales are doing well, we’ve seen the highest number of books sold in 10 years,’ CPNB director Eveline Aendekerk said. ‘But this growth is hiding the worrying decline in sales at bookshops and the decreasing share of books in Dutch. Both can form a threat to the literary climate in the Netherlands and we shall have be alert to this.’

The CPNB will publish a list of the 100 best sold books of 2021 later on Thursday.

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