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Book Sales Decrease By 43 Percent in Iceland

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Book Sales Decrease By 43 Percent in Iceland

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Photo: Páll Stefánsson.

Book sales in Iceland have decreased by 43 percent since 2010, RÚV reports.

Increased use of smartphones and tablets in recent years is considered one of the leading factors in the decline.

Turnover from Icelandic book publishers has also decreased 38 percent since 2008, taking inflation into account.

In 2010, the average Icelander bought eight books per year. Last year, that number was 4.2 books. During the same period, data usage increased 19-fold. Sylvía Kristín Ólafsdóttir, former product development manager of Kindle at Amazon, told RÚV that smart phones and tablets have had an impact on how people spend their leisure time. Other forms of entertainment, such as films and TV series, are strong competition for books.

In contrast with Iceland, book sales in the US and Britain experienced a surge between 2015 and 2016. Sylvía stated this surge was mostly due to the sale of adult coloring books, and underlines the importance of focusing on innovation and searching for new ways to reach readers.

Referring to her experience with Kindle, Sylvía added: “those groups which read a lot, they read even more when innovations such as more comfortable interfaces were brought to the table.”

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