Sunday, August 20, 2006

Strong Book Sales in Sweden

Today, my wife is staffing the Swedish-Chinese Association's book table, one of 500 at the world's longest book table in central Stockholm.

Dagens Nyheter, Sweden's main daily newspaper, reports that the country's book sales are at an all-time high. Sales have grown by more than 40% since 1999, both as regards the number of books and as regards profits. Paperbacks, children's books and non-fiction are the strongest-growing categories.

Reasons for the boom given by people in the know are the lowering of the sales tax on books in 2002 and the availability of books through new channels including grocery stores.

But don't thank me, guys. I buy my English books from eBay and Amazon, and I borrow my Swedish ones from the library.

[More blog entries about , ; .]

7 Comments:

Blogger Candy Minx said...

I have two awesome friends who live in Stockholm. They were just here this summer in Canada...and it was very odd, always more odd than other translations to see Jouce Carol Oates book "Blonde" being read by friend Eva, in Swedish. It looks so exotic.

20 August, 2006 16:55  
Anonymous Joyce Carol Oates said...

Hurdie, hurdie, ho, Marilyn Monroe. Bork-bork-bork-lutefisk.

20 August, 2006 18:19  
Blogger Martin said...

Oates is pretty big here too, always discussed in the lit pages of newspapers. I read her Marya back in the day and was underwhelmed. But she's since spoken well of Lovecraft, which buys her space in my good book.

20 August, 2006 18:41  
Blogger Hans Persson said...

It's definitely nice to see that reading is up, but I'm a bit curious to know what the average number of books read per year by Swedes actually is.

20 August, 2006 21:40  
Blogger Martin said...

I believe the distribution is bimodal, with many people reading either a) no books at all, or b) lots of books, and the mean hovering between the peaks.

20 August, 2006 21:46  
Blogger Karen said...

Swedish-Chinese Association? I wouldn't have thought that there would be a large Chinese population in Sweden but then I don't much about your country other than "Ikea" is Swedish for common sense (ha ha ha).

I think it's great that book sales are up (especially children's books!) and the Swedish Gov't has lowered the sales tax on books. What a great way to encourage reading!

And for the record, I was meaning to ask you about the title of your blog but you wrote about it before I got around to it. Nuts. Oh well. I loved the post about the title by the way.

20 August, 2006 23:22  
Blogger Martin said...

Thank you, Karen!

There are not in fact many Chinese in Sweden. The association's members are mainly Swedes who are interested in China. Most of them are middle class people who don't have much to say to the country's Chinese, as they are generally working class or small businessmen.

21 August, 2006 07:21  

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