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Books Add Up To A Decade | Entertainment | The USA Print – THE USA PRINT

Four million more books sold in one year. And a 5.5% increase in turnover, up to 2,718 million euros. The Federation of Publishers Guilds of Spain yesterday presented with enormous optimism the book sales data for 2022, which show that the increase in reading produced by the pandemic confinement has not been a flash in the pan. The president of the Federation, Daniel Fernández, editor of Edhasa, pointed out that last year’s data “adds to a decade of recovery and growth after the great crisis of 2008.” A year in which the turnover of Spanish publishers was 3,185 million euros, a figure that has not yet been recovered 15 years later and that shows the depth of the abyss into which the country peered.

Sales plummeted from 2008 to 2013, when they stood at 2,181 million, but since then growth has been continuous and “was accentuated at the time of the pandemic, one of the few positive consequences of the covid was the reunion of part of Spanish society with books,” Fernández highlighted. He remarked that the latest increases “have narrowed the gap that separated us from the countries with the most readers around us” despite the fact that, he acknowledged, in our society there is enormous reading inequality: “There is a third of citizens who read at least ten books a year, and another third who never set foot in a library, a theater or a museum and who also seem immune to reading, except when for some professional reason they have to deal with a book.”

In the last five years, the accumulated growth in sales in the sector has been 15%, but of course, there have been items that have boosted sales more than others. And it is that since 2019, books for children and young people have skyrocketed by 50%, going from 312 to 469 million in billing. “Children’s and youth literature has grown by 8.6% in 2022, which represents good news about good news, because if they read in childhood and adolescence there are many possibilities that they will be adult readers and the reading rate will continue to improve,” Fernández reasoned.

The publishing world has overcome the pandemic with flying colors, but has not yet recovered from the 2008 crisis

“In a country with low demographic growth rates, this data is striking in a hopeful way,” he warned. And he stressed that “parents have incorporated the habit of reading to their children, something that was part of a restricted social group 25 years ago and is now a widespread family activity. Most parents are aware that reading is important for children’s development.

Adult fiction has also grown strongly, 8.5%, to 595 million, which for the president of the Federation of Guilds shows that “perhaps people need to be distracted from reality” and that in any case, he summarized, “it is good news in the midst of the great offer of series and platforms.”

In total, 83,091 titles have been published during 2022, 57,125 on paper and 25,966 on digital. Despite which the sales of physical books have been 2,569 million, with an increase of 5.6%, while the digital book represents only 5.1% of the market: it has sold for 139 million and has experienced a smaller increase than paper, of 3.3%. “Digital is still 5% of the market, affected by what we wrongly call piracy, which is content theft. Groups that shared books on Facebook were eliminated, but this is not being achieved with WhatsApp, which is owned by the same owner,” lamented Fernández. In last place is the audiobook, which barely represents 3.43 million in sales, although its growth has been 8.1%.

A third of citizens read at least ten books a year and another third seems immune to reading

Among the rain of data from the report by the Federation of Publishers Guilds is that 75.9% of the 83,091 books published in 2022 were in Spanish, 14% in Catalan, 2.3% in Basque and 2.2% in Galician. The Catalan publishers’ union accounted for 53% of total turnover, and Madrid’s, 40.7%.

Despite the dark clouds that were announced for bookstores, they are today the main sales channel, billing 35.2% of the total. Large bookstore chains invoice an additional 18.7%, hypermarkets 8.6%, kiosks and credit sales 2.9% each, and the Internet 2.1% for paper books plus 5.1% for electronic books.

Exports from the Spanish publishing sector have grown to 403 million euros –1% from the publishing sector and 24.33% from the graphic sector–, leaving a positive trade balance for Spain of 281.68 million. “This shows that the great Spanish cultural industry is the book industry, far from the others, we are an industry that contributes net to the state coffers,” recalled Antonio María Ávila, executive director of the Federation of Guilds. Even so, the foreign market is slowly recovering from the slump in exports caused by the pandemic: in 2019, 529 million were billed.

Today, they explain from the Federation, the 2008 data has not yet been reached for items such as textbooks, whose dynamics have changed and represent 140 million less income. Patrici Tixis, president of the Gremi d’Editors de Catalunya and director of communication for Grupo Planeta, believes that there is still room for growth because “reading levels are far from the standards of countries like France, but everything will depend on our ability to attract readers and if we add public policies that encourage reading at all ages, strengthen libraries, support bookstores, true cultural agents in neighborhoods and towns throughout the country, and that the teaching of the humanities does not disappear from the school curriculum”.


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