Sales of Print Books Decline to Below 2020 Levels
In 2020, print book sales rose to the highest level since 2010, according to NPD Bookscan. Many industry experts believed the surge in book sales was a result of people spending more time at home during the pandemic. This theory is supported by a recent survey released by the US Department of Labor. According to the American Time Use survey, reading among people 15 years old and up increased by 21% in the period May-December 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
Recently, print book sales have begun to decrease to below 2020 levels. Unit sales of print books declined 4.9% last week compared to the week ended July 25 2020 at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Nonfiction has continued to see the biggest declines particularly for juvenile nonfiction which experts attribute to the return to in person classes leading to parents buying fewer educational books for homeschooling. Sales of ebooks have also seen a decrease from highs in early 2021. In May, sales of ebooks fell 23.4% compared to May of 2020 although the digital audio book segment remained strong.
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