In recent years the news has regularly been filled with tales of dwindling book sales, drastic drops in people reading and a slow and steady decline in the numbers of physical bookstores that can be found in our towns and cities so any positive news is always gratefully received by we booklovers and that’s just what we have for the Christmas book sales figures.
According to Nielsen BookScan who collects the retail sales information from point of sale systems in more than 35,500 bookshops around the world UK print book sales alone topped the £83.3m mark in the run up to Christmas which is the highest they’ve been since 2007.
It’s not only the Christmas period that has seen the number of physical book sales rising Nielson’s figures show that the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script by Jack Thorne was the bestselling book of 2016 with sales of 1.45 million copies earning £15.8m and these sales figures are also represented in the numbers of high street bookshops that are in our towns and cities.
Booksellers Association CEO Tim Godfray said: “The graph for booksellers is starting to move up after a very difficult period.”
“Thank heavens so many were … wide of the mark when predicting the death of the physical bookshop and the demise of the printed book. I have been hugely heartened by the anecdotal sales reports from our members in the UK and Ireland. Consumers do appear to be coming back to the printed book and bookshops.”
Let’s hope this is just the start of a trend that sees the return of bookshops on every corner.
Charlotte Westgate, a local resident, said she saw a man in his 20s adding “Gotham City” to a sign on Friday: “He was on his own, and didn’t seem worried that anyone might be looking at him, but no one driving past did anything to stop him.”
Although technically considered ‘vandalism’ and ‘a distraction to drivers’, book lovers everywhere are amused by the signs pointing them towards Narnia or the Emerald City.
A statement said: “We will investigate as soon as the weather improves. While on the surface amusing, it is vandalism and a potential distraction for drivers.”
To Kill a Mockingbird is an iconic text, exploring race relations in the Deep South. For years it’s been a pivotal text used by schools, but we heard little about the author. Deeply private, Harper Lee preferred to stay out of the limelight but since her death it seems her estate has been rarely out of the news.
One woman from the UK discovered the perfect response when she was aboard a bus in her city. As the bus was very crowded, tempers were a little frayed, and one man allowed his aggression to get the better of him. Instead of asking the woman to keep her elbows in or tuck her book in a bit to make more room for others, he instead decided it was appropriate to call her a “fucking bitch”.
What book lover Jennifer Cairns did next was fantastically appropriate and a wonderfully gracious- she started reading aloud.
“How To Stop Time” by Matt Haig is the story of Tom Hazzard, who looks like an ordinary 41 year old, but due to a rare condition, he has been alive for hundreds of years. During these long centuries he has performed with Shakespeare, sailed to far off “new” lands with Captain Cook, and met and shared cocktails with The Fitzgeralds. Read More
The article in question mocked students who studied Frankenstein, who had correctly reflected on how the monster created by Dr Frankenstein was a misunderstood and sympathetic figure. A screenshot of the ignorant Tweet was saved (see right). Their article and the Tweet promoting it have since been deleted, but not before it was roundly trolled by those of us who had dared to read the book and understand its themes.