This is shown by the compilation of statistics for 2020 in the annual report that the Swedish Book Dealers 'Association and the Swedish Publishers' Association are now publishing.

The pandemic has been favorable for book sales - only the increase in sales after the book VAT was reduced in 2002 comes close.

-It is obvious that we want to read books.

When we get more time, we also read more, which is very positive, says Maria Hamrefors, chairman of the Swedish Book Dealers' Association.

The author of the report, Erik Wikberg, agrees:

-This shows that there is a great desire to read throughout the country.

The dry explanation is that we have had a lot of free time and not so much competition for anything else, another that we have needed in-depth literature on existential issues and escapism.

-When it comes to audio books, we also know that the very social factor, hearing a different voice, may have been important during the pandemic when so many were alone.

Rise for fiction and cookbooks

In cash, the increase in sales amounts to SEK 384 million, but it has not benefited all sales channels.

While the online bookstore has made strong progress and, together with the book clubs, increased sales by 19 percent, the physical bookstore has reduced its sales by 19.1 percent.

In terms of genre, it is above all fiction but also the cookbooks that have sold better during the pandemic year.

Sales of children's and young people's books, on the other hand, increased significantly in volume, but not in kronor, which is explained by the fact that children and young people have listened to streamed audio books to a greater extent than before.

-Children's books are sold a lot as gift books in physical bookstores.

It is positive that there has not been a decrease, you should also know that children's and young people's books have increased very strongly in the long term, says Erik Wikberg.