Readers in Italy are decreasing more and more, this is what emerges from Nielsen Bookscan data during the Più Libri Più Liberi festival. On the other hand, bookshops are recovering compared to online stores, a difficulty for small publishing
“In Italy we no longer read”, a phrase that has been heard for years and which, by and large, is becoming a reality. This is what emerges from the year-end statistics, which show a slight closure decline for the reading and publishing in general. In fact, in 2022, according to the research office of theItalian Association of Publishers (AIE), we are witnessing a drop in sales between 1.1% and 1.8%, a value of sales at cover price that fluctuates between one billion and 676 million and one billion and 687 million; the books sold this year are approx 86.8 million; physical bookstores are recovering compared to online stores. Figures come from data Nielsen Bookscan presented at the opening of the Più Libri Più Liberi festival.
Readers in Italy: a country that no longer reads
The results of the data collected bring out a datum that seems to consolidate over time: readers in Italy are decreasing. 59.2% of Italians, according to data, non read not even one book in a whole year, while only 15.3% of the population claims to have completed reading at least one book a month. If we wanted to make an identikit based on statistics, the average reader is one donna coming from central-northhe lives in cityhas a title academic but he doesn’t go to the library much, he reads across the board (using both paper and digital media), he prefers books by narrative and, if she has children, try to educate them to read from a young age.
This decline inevitably also affects the survival of the publishing houses, which in the last three years have seen their business decreased by 10.1%. The data that emerged during the presentation is however clear: there are fewer and fewer readers, but at the same time you print fewer copies of more books; a lot varietybut contemporary with one minima quantity. The most difficult challenge to date is for the small publishingas he stated Diego Guida of the Small Publishers Group:
Once again the data show how much of the national publishing industry is made up of medium and small businesses that are highly dynamic but which, at the same time, have to face very difficult problems, starting with distribution. Medium-sized publishers are driving growth, but at the same time special attention is needed to small and micro-publishers who are suffering in a very special way from the difficult economic situation.
The Istat data, published in February 2022 but dating back to 2020make it possible to make a comparison between the last two years and the current one: the number of titles published has decreased (-2.6% on 2019) while the average cover price has remained stableinstead increasing the distribution via online channels. What also appears is a tendency to abandon the book that goes hand in hand with age: 41.4% of the group 6+ years has read at least one book in the last year, but the figure drops drastically as one reaches adulthood; preferences are also changing mode e purchase of the product, with 73.6% of readers only reading paper books, 9.4% only e-books or online books, and 0.3% listening only to audio books. 16.6% use more than one reading medium (paper book, digital book, audio book).