The Portuguese book market grew by 8% this year, up to April 10, compared to the same period in 2019, the year before the Covid-19 pandemic, which then affected book sales throughout the country. country.
This data was provided to ECO by the president of the Portuguese Association of Publishers and Booksellers (APEL), Pedro Sobral, showing that this market is slowly following the recovery of other sectors of the economy. However, he affirms that “public policies are necessary to encourage reading and the purchase of books, such as a greater reduction in the VAT applied to books, so that the price is not a barrier”.
“The Portuguese market has low reading and literacy rates”, well below other European countries, according to the president of APEL.
Pedro Sobral added that “in the first year of confinement, i.e. 2020, the market lost 17% in value, which is a huge and sudden loss for a sector that is already fragile and very dependent on the indices of private consumption”. But 2021 turned out to be a comeback year with better sales rates. “Despite the harsh confinement with the market being completely closed for 10 weeks and partially for two months as well as the restrictions during the Christmas period, 2021 ended up recovering the 17% that it had lost in 2020”. Which is proving to be a breath of fresh air in the industry, given the impact the pandemic has had on book sales. “It ended up undoing the loss suffered in the first year of the pandemic,” he said.