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Arts & Culture Literature

Reading Ahead: COVID-19 Will Continue to Impact Book Sales in 2021

2020 was filled with twists and turns, to say the least. The year that marked a new decade gave new meaning  to the phrase “expect the unexpected”. 

The ongoing global pandemic forced the world to readjust to a new normal. Social distancing and health guidelines may have transformed day-to-day routines and schedules, but regardless of these circumstances, many people found ways to continue safely living and enjoying life. 

Looking back at the year, the data and trends speak for themselves. An increase in giving back, sourdough bread consumption, and pranks on parents were just a few of the trends to dominate 2020. 

Books and reading were another trendy movement that has skyrocketed over the past twelve months. Take a closer look at the effect COVID-19 has had on literature and what this means looking, or better put, reading ahead.  

The Not-So Surprising Correlation Between COVID-19 and Books

Soon after much of the country went into lockdown it became clear that books were back and better than ever. Not to say that reading ever really went out of style, but spending more time at home was definitely causing many readers to return to the beloved pastime. New, and old, novels were no longer reserved for vacations and days off. The excessive free time that much of society found themselves with was being filled with stories, characters, and the worlds they lived in. 

Many sources began revealing shockingly large numbers that showed a significant increase in demand when it came to reading. CNBC shared that book sales experienced a growth of 777%.  British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported record-high book sales as people prepared for quarantine. Whether for enjoyment or for education, more people were buying and reading more books in 2020, so what does this mean for 2021? 

Popular by Demand

Looking at the numbers and statistics, authors, publishers, and readers can get a better understanding of what consumers and readers want. Some people may have been surprised to learn that the classics are very much so still kicking. The Great Gatsby and The Bell Jar are just two examples of the legendary content that has experienced a heavy influx. On a lighter note, it probably makes sense that activity books also fall into this category. Circumstances seem to be one of the driving forces behind this noteworthy trend. Remote learning is another factor to consider. The 234% increase in children’s literature was a direct impact of parents and guardians looking to fill the gap and support their students. 

Now, more than ever, is the time to indulge in fiction that can best be described as “feel good”. Getting lost in a good book may be one of the best ways to combat the stress and anxiety that is too often associated with COVID-19. 

What Books to Read in 2021

Luckily, in today’s day and age, readers and consumers have a tremendous amount of options. It is safe to say there is no shortage of talented and passionate authors. Not to mention, all of the highly-anticipated literature that is still to come. Aftershocks, The Charmed Wife, and Detransition, Baby are just three of the many compelling and entertaining publications that will be released in 2021. There is no right or wrong book to pick up, but, if one thing is certain, now is the perfect time to do it. 


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