Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (LON:BMY) has revealed that the reading habits of Britons have changed in the current lockdown compared to the first.
The independent publishing house, in a press release the day after World Book Day, said that during the first lockdown (between March and July 2020), gardening and cooking books were popular as people turned engaged in activities they could do at home.
This time around, in 2021, people seem to be gearing up for a revival of rampant running, with books on running and career development proving popular.
2020 has also seen a resurgence of interest in social justice, spurred by the Black Lives Matter movement over the summer, Bloomsbury said, with Reni Eddo’s “Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race.” -Lodge on Bloomsbury’s 2020 Best Seller List. .
Lockdown 2021, however, has seen escape fantasy fiction top readers’ lists, thanks to Sarah J. Maas’ A Court of Silver Flames, which is currently number one in many countries (and coincidentally is published by Bloomsbury).
Since the first lockdown around a year ago, there has been a surge in interest in reading, which has benefited publishing houses such as Bloomsbury.
At times over the past 12 months, it has not been possible to leisurely browse the local bookstore (if you still have one), which has led to a surge in online book sales and e-book revenue .
Bloomsbury said in its interim earnings statement (covering the six months to the end of August) that online book sales and e-book revenue grew significantly year-over-year.
This includes academic e-books, which probably shouldn’t be surprising given the amount of “distance learning” that has taken place during the shutdowns.
Bloomsbury added that it has seen an increase in sales of teaching and education books as parents shift to homeschooling their children, with The National Curriculum Outdoors series for different groups of children. age among the most popular titles.
Many children embraced reading at the start of the pandemic, according to the World Book Day charity. The majority looked online for reading inspiration, with YouTube (45%), social media (28%) and friends (31%) cited as a key source of ideas.
Young people said that reading helped them relax (40%) and made them happy (35%).
Access to books remains a serious problem, especially for disadvantaged children and families, the charity said. Although many schools have implemented quarantine programs and delivery services, 40% of elementary school children have been unable to take books home, he reported.
A year into the pandemic, reading has declined slightly in 2021, according to the latest research from Nielsen Books.
“It is clear that people’s lifestyles have changed during the pandemic, as has their media consumption. Books play an important role for many at the moment, and we can see that people’s reading tastes are changing depending on their circumstances,” said Nigel Newton, chief executive of Bloomsbury.
“On the other side of lockdown, books are proving to be invaluable sources of help to help parents with home schooling or to provide an hour or so of escape from the stress of lockdown. Whatever people need, the books have been there to support them in these difficult times,” he added.