Daily Management Review

UK Growing Fond Of Books Again As Sales Surge In 2020


UK Growing Fond Of Books Again As Sales Surge In 2020
People in the United Kingdom are growing fond of books and reading once again.
In 2020, there was a 7 per cent growth in the sale of consumer books in the country to £2.1bn as people "rediscovered their love of reading" during the lockdown period, said the industry body.
The Publishers Association said that there was a notable rise in demand for fiction and non-fiction jumped while there was a 37 per cent rise in sale of audio-books.
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman, Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo and 7 Ways by Jamie Oliver were among the best seller of 2020, the Association said.
There was however a slump in the sale of educational and academic books because of the closure of schools for months.
"It's clear that many people rediscovered their love of reading last year and that publishers were able to deliver the entertaining and thought-provoking books that so many of us needed. But we shouldn't ignore the fact that it's been a particularly challenging year for education publishers and many smaller publishers,” Stephen Lotinga, chief executive of the Publishers' Association, said.
“It's also been a hugely difficult time for many booksellers and authors whose livelihoods have been enormously disrupted," Lotinga added.
There was a 2 per cent rise to £6.4bn last year in the combined sale of UK publishing which includes consumer, educational and academic titles, according to the calculations and data of the association.
The association particularly pointed out to the very good performance of the consumer market wherein there was 16 per cent spoke in the sale of fiction books while a 4 per cent jump in sale was noted for non-fiction books. Out of the total sale of consumer books, there was a jump of 4 per cent in the sale of printed books at £1.7bn while a 24 per cent jump in the sale of digital books, at £418m, was noted last year.
The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel and Barack Obama's memoir A Promised Land, published in November, which sold well in audio, were among the other bestselling titles last year.
There was also strength in the enormous academic publishing industry of the UK last year with a 3 per cent growth in income at £3.3bn but there was a 20 per cent drop in the sale of school textbooks and word books.
"With bookshops now able to reopen, and physical events returning, we are optimistic that people will soon be able to enjoy books together again. We need to harness this return to reading and build on the huge opportunity this presents to everyone," Lotinga said.