Book sales soared in 2021, but stores in the Netherlands are struggling

The coronavirus pandemic and various national lockdowns appear to have had a positive effect on book sales in the Netherlands, with the country reporting 43 million books sold in 2021 – the highest number recorded in 10 years.

COVID-19 has allowed people to rekindle their love of reading

With cinemas, museums, restaurants, shops and so many other businesses forced to close and advice from the Dutch government asking members of the public to limit social contact as much as possible, it seems the Dutch have turned to more traditional pastimes. to pass the time well.

One activity that proved particularly popular last year was reading – or at least a number of people found themselves spending more money on books than they had in years. Whether it’s revisiting an old favourite, brushing up on their Dutch, or bonding with their kids over a children’s classic, many people have rekindled their love of reading in the past year.

In the Netherlands alone, buyers bought 43 million books, according to the Collective Promotion of Dutch Books (CPNB). Children’s literature benefited the most from this increased interest, seeing the biggest growth of any genre, but the most popular book in the Netherlands last year was the latest installment in Lucinda Riley’s Seven Sisters series. , The missing sister.

Bookstores struggle to compete with web giants

While a growing number of people are spending more money on literature, bookstores across the country are still struggling to cope as they compete with the growing popularity of online shopping. Last year, the number of books sold by physical stores fell by 7%.

Interestingly, while many customers are turning to online giants like Bol and Amazon when ordering their next paperback, the controversial e-book’s popularity appears to be plummeting nationwide. Last year, e-book sales in the Netherlands fell by 2%.

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