Saturday, 5 December 2015
A Book for Christmas?
Did you know that the UK is the most "reading-intense" nation in the world?
In 2013, for example, some 184 000 titles were published... which equates to more books per inhabitant than any other country on the planet!
To be specific: for every million people in the UK, about 2800 titles were brought out. Only China and the USA churn out more books overall, but at a far lower ratio of books per inhabitant.
And weren't we warned to expect the demise of the printed book?
Not so fast.
Print sales are up, it appears.
The traditional book is fighting back against its digital avatar.
So... what are we so busily reading?
If you look at the books that were published in the UK in early October - the traditional launchpad for Xmas sales - there are the usual celebrity memoirs and cookbooks but also a refreshing range of historical, educational, academic and cultural titles. And don't forget the children - and teenagers! Some of the hype and publicity around their market is more substantial than for adult titles.
What do you suppose was the top title on pre-order?
No, not a sportstar memoir or the latest crime thriller. It's called The Amazing Book is Not On Fire, and it's written by two young Youtube vloggers who have a massive online following. Young people buying print? Maybe the traditional book does have a future after all!
My tiny part in this is represented by The Housemaid's Daughter, still winning new friends around the world.
For Christmas, perhaps?