Bookstore sales drop

They notice the decrease in consumption and ask the Ministry of Culture to foresee "measures" in case the situation continues for weeks

The director of the Book Fair, Manuel Gil, commented after announcing the delay to October of this event: "Sales have fallen in these first days by half." Bookstores have begun to show some concern. One of the booksellers with whom this newspaper has spoken affirms that «If the Ministry of Culture is not currently considering any measure to alleviate the possible economic blow that this circumstance may entail for bookstores, it would be bordering on negligence. They should already be thinking about taking some to avoid the consequences. There are bookstores, like mine, which is very well-known, which is in the center and always has people. But right now there are very long times during which nobody enters. If this happens to me, what may be happening to others that are not so relevant? There will be many that will have to close if this goes beyond a few specific weeks. The booksellers are the first to anticipate what the future may hold. Some of them have acknowledged to this newspaper that the influx of customers has fallen in the last three days and sales have decreased in a number that without being alarming is significant if it becomes a trend. "If the containment measures to stop the virus last two or three weeks there will be no problem," some agree, "but if they last for two months or more, yes." According to a bookseller, "If this situation extends over time, which is what it seems in advance, the Ministry of Culture would have to intervene with an aid plan." The main concern comes from the following factors: the suspension of book presentations and public events in these establishments, which represents a significant decrease in income; the drop in buyers due to prevention protocols and the fear that exists in society, and, above all, the possibility of suspending the most relevant cultural events for the book.

For his part, Manuel Gil has stated that “perhaps the time has come to defend the bookstores and analyze their situation. It is necessary to take union measures, but the time has also come for other institutional measures to be taken to reinforce the value chain that the book implies. This problem must be attacked. We will activate a very strong campaign for the Book Fair ”.

There are publishers who do not hide their concern either. They recognize that if an economic retreat is added to this situation, it can unleash serious problems for the sector. But they also explain what the situation would be: «The measures of the Minister of Social Security do not help us at all. The only thing that could relieve us is that, in case the situation was serious, the Ministry made a purchase of books in bookstores and destined them to public libraries. " Everyone agrees that this would be the most appropriate remedy if this situation leads to a more serious situation. Some publishers have no doubt that online sales will increase in the coming weeks, but they are also aware that this is not the only mission that a bookstore has and fear that this channel is not enough to cushion the blow. , like the electronic book. Some even admit that they feel a certain fear that in the following days, instead of reading more, something that could lead to an alleged "quarantine", many decide to throw themselves into the arms of the series or video games. Although, most prefer to be positive and think there is a gap for optimism. There are those who believe that it is an opportunity to promote population reading. In fact, there are already several labels that are preparing for this scenario and are working to launch plans in the following days to seduce, through different proposals and titles, to read more. It is an attempt to convince the population that these days of shelter and precaution are a good opportunity to acquire books (the bookstores are still open and all are full of titles) and indulge in reading, and not just abandon themselves to the screens.


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