Pandemic and long-term stays push Swedish book sales to record highs

STOCKHOLM, Aug.11 (Reuters) – Book sales in Sweden hit an all-time high in the first half of 2021 as people traveled less and enjoyed themselves at home more than usual during the pandemic, preparing the industry for a another stellar year after a record 2020.

The Swedish Booksellers Association said on Wednesday that total sales were up 10% from the same period in 2020, with printed books up 7% and digital books up 14%. Children’s books led the rise.

Compared to the pre-pandemic first half of 2019, total sales increased by 18%.

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“The trends we have seen since the start of the pandemic continue – it is digital sales channels and formats that are increasing, while sales of books in physical bookstores are declining,” he said in a report. communicated.

At the same time, many members of the association are finding that vaccinated customers are returning to stores and that ‘staycationing’ has also benefited sales this summer. “

Maria Hamrefors, president of the association, said stores located in major cities and malls were behind the decline in physical commerce. “Meanwhile, the stores at the resorts or in areas where people live – and work from home – have performed very well,” she said.

In Trosa on the Baltic coast, Helena Vazquez Sohlstrom, the new co-owner of the small town’s centennial-only offline bookstore, said sales increased in the first half of 2021, after an equally strong 2020.

In 2020, total book sales in the Nordic country increased by 9%.

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Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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