The general public is rediscovering a taste for reading
Despite a difficult period of pandemic, the sector is doing quite well, believes Jürgen Boos, president of the traditional opening ceremony of the Frankfurt Fair. The different confinements have changed the uses of readers, especially among young people. Books “have proven to be a particularly resilient and popular medium during the pandemic“, according to Jürgen Boos.
Books for teens and how-to books for adults are the big winners in this craze. Locked in their homes during the pandemic, many readers have turned to cookery and craft books.
In the United States, sales of printed books soared in a matter of months. The country registers an increase of 8% in 2020, its highest score in ten years, according to the research institute NPD Group.
Germany is recording an increase in sales on all its media. Online sales revenue in 2020 jumped 20%, reaching nearly 2.2 billion euros in turnover.
Audio and digital book sales are also enjoying double-digit growth. Despite these encouraging figures, the sector faces logistical challenges.
Shortages of paper and cardboard
Uses are changing, but the sector is facing a new threat. Like many other industries, book professionals fear that they in turn will be hit by global shortages of raw materials. These are disrupting supply chains and threatening the publishing world as the Christmas season approaches.
Publishers are already sounding the alarm. Shortages of paper and cardboard, bottlenecks in ports or lack of truck drivers: so many questions arise as to the proper delivery of books for Christmas.
Jonathan Beck, director of the famous German publishing house CH Beck, interviewed by German daily Handelsblatt feared “that at Christmas, people cannot be sure that they will get the book they want quickly.“Faced with these shortages, the prices of books could increase. This is worrying news which will not prevent book professionals from taking advantage of this 2021 edition to find themselves within 4 days.
Canada and Francophone writers in the spotlight for this 2021 edition
This year, the event welcomes Canada as a guest of honor. The Quebec presence is particularly noted for this edition with the publication of a hundred titles newly translated into German. The Fair showcases the work of Haitian-Canadian writer Dany Laferrière through an outdoor exhibition that traces his life.
From his childhood in Haiti until his entry to the French Academy in Paris, A nomadic heart will invite us to follow in the footsteps of a life marked by exile, women and words. In addition to the exhibition, the universe of the author-illustrator will come to life in the video projection Exile is worth the trip.