Not only uplifting series on online platforms, but also books became the remedy for Italians during the pandemic. The increase in readership has been noted with satisfaction this year, which is considered one of the few good news.
During the long lockdown in spring, Italians broke records in terms of using streaming platforms, but also began to use books more often than usual, according to market research. A lot of people who read the book for the first time also came.
As assessed by the publishing and bookstores industry, it is a sign that the year of the pandemic will not be lost for readership in the country, and on the contrary - it brings hope.
Although the percentage of books bought online is growing, bookstores remain the most important reference point for reading enthusiasts. They did not lose their importance and regained customers after the spring lockdown. More than two-thirds of readers visit them regularly.
In October, 61% of Italians aged 15 to 74 said they had read at least one book in a year. This also applies to electronic books and audiobooks.
In previous years, the percentage of book readers was around 56%.
These results are presented in the Report on Readership in the Year of the Pandemic Crisis, compiled by the Rome Ministry of Culture and the Book Publishers Association.
As it is noted, the process of discovering the pleasure of reading during the months of national quarantine and numerous restrictions did not take place quickly. In the first place, whole generations, from the youngest to the adults, have started using streaming platforms en masse during the period of being forced to stay at home.
American series were breaking popularity records, which also caused many readers to put books aside for a while.
When the first phase of their rejection and general anxiety and confusion due to the necessity of a sudden change in lifestyle, as shown in previous polls, was over, there was a phenomenon of returning to reading.
In May, a record of the use of e-books and audiobooks was recorded. 40% of book readers chose them in this form. A year ago, a third of Italians preferred digital versions. 3.4 million people bought a book online for the first time in their lives, including 2.3 million - a digital version.
60% of readers of traditional paper books are also a good and comforting result, the analysis noted.
“These are positive signals. The publishing and book sectors have proved to be more resilient than other industries, ”emphasized the authors of the report, which also noted government support. This data is considered encouraging for the entire book and publishing world.
The presented forecasts show that the sales volume and turnover this year will not differ from those before the pandemic.
41% of regular book readers use libraries.
From Rome Sylwia Wysocka (PAP)