The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Wednesday, October 21, 2020


Book sales soar as French lockdown eases
In this file photo taken on May 11, 2020 a customer looks at a book on display in the bookstore "Dialogues", in Brest, western France, on the first day of a partial lifting of the lockdown introduced two months ago to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus. Publishers rely on bestsellers to revive a sector grinding to a halt after a two-months lockdown aimed at stemming the spread of the COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus. Fred TANNEAU / AFP.



PARIS (AFP).- Book sales in France have soared since the country began to ease its lockdown, rocketing more than 230 percent in a week, a survey showed Monday.

A study for the trade weekly Livres Hebdo found that from May 11 to 17 bookshops did a roaring trade, with readers desperate to stock up while public libraries remained shut.

Many French bookshops had partially reopened in the last weeks of the country's strict eight-week confinement for takeaway or click and collect sales.

Even so, overall, sales were 60 percent down compared the corresponding period in 2019.

Despite the proliferation of online reading groups during the lockdown, the French publishing industry has been badly hit, with publishers claiming that revenues have dropped by 80 percent.

France has more independent bookshops than almost any other European country, with a fixed price system protecting them from discounting by online giants like Amazon.

But with publishing reeling in the wake of the virus, Culture Minister Franck Riester said Friday that he was working on an aid package for the industry.



© Agence France-Presse










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