Ever since the outbreak of coronavirus, the world around us has changed suddenly, maybe even irrevocably. Staying at home is the new prescribed norm and this has led to a sharp increase in the activities one can do indoors, and one of them is reading.
According to a report in The Guardian, there has been a considerable rise in book sales. It further states that though Waterstones, one of UK’s largest book chains, has closed its stores owing to the present crisis, there has been a sudden hike in its online sales, almost by 400 per cent witnessing more demand for books like Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera and One Hundred Years of Solitude, Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and Toni Morrison’s Beloved.
A similar pattern has been noticed by Nielsen BookScan which monitors book sales in UK. As stated in the report, there has been a rise in the sale of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace and Lord of the Rings.
“Our bestseller is Hilary Mantel – those 900 pages aren’t going to seem daunting any more and it’s doing really well. And we’ve seen really good sales for the classics – those bucket list books, the ‘I’ve always wanted to read it’ type such as Infinite Jest,” said Bea Carvalho, general fiction buyer at Waterstones. Almost to nobody’s surprise, the sale of adult non-fiction has dropped by 13 per cent. “The sales data suggests that the UK population has indeed been preparing for long periods of isolation,” commented Philip Stone at Nielsen.