READING makes a comeback in Spain as retailers report a huge increase in sales
Like every other non-essential retailer in Spain, bookstores were hit hard during the coronavirus, being forced to shut up shop and left at the mercy of online sellers. However, as International Book Day 2021 was celebrated around the globe on Friday, April 23, Spanish bibliophiles had a reason to rejoice, as national sellers saw an increase of €9 million in their turnover compared with the same day last year.
In a turn up for the books (so sorry!), sales have not only increased this year around the world, but they are actually higher than in the years leading up to the pandemic. As reported by Spanish news outlet OKDIARIO, during the first three months of 2019, the global amount of book sales totalled €85 million; this dropped to €78 million during the coronavirus pandemic, but for the same period in 2021, €87 million worth of books have been sold.
“These data are not global, but they constitute a fairly exact approximation when it comes to knowing what the sales trend is and how bookstores are responding,” explained Álvaro Manso, a spokesperson for the Spanish Confederation of Booksellers Guilds and Associations (CEGAL).
So far this year, non-fiction books have seen the highest demand, closely followed by fiction and literature for children and adolescents.
In honour of International Book Day, Quirónsalud Malaga Hospital is highlighting the health benefits of reading which it claims reduces stress levels by 65 per cent, by giving patients books and sharing the work of famous local writers.
Dr. Tomás Urda, Hospital Quirónsalud Malaga Hospital MD, said:
“Reading, especially in patients, reduces the stress and anxiety of hospitalisation and, in the same way, helps in relaxation and sleep, improving health and well-being.
“For this reason, the hospital invites all patients to read, and especially hospitalised children who have been given the book ‘The Adventures of Kenko’, by Lola González.”