Readersforum's Blog

September 6, 2013

Not a closed book just yet

Books+textbooks+dumpedBy YOLISA MKELE

South Africans are rapidly losing their taste for books. This is according to recent data, which shows a sharp decline in the sales of printed books.

Four major publishing houses confirmed that print book sales were waning.

According to Elitha van der Sandt, CEO of the South African Book Development Council, there are only 500000 regular book-readers left in the country.

Steve Connolly, managing director at Random House Struik, said total sales, excluding school textbooks and academic titles amounted to R1.58-billion in 2012, R1.59-billion in 2011 and R1.62-billion in 2010.

“There is clearly a downward trend here, and 2012 would have seen a steeper downward curve without the contribution of Fifty Shades of Grey,”said Connolly.

He said, as a result of the decline, it now takes significantly fewer sales for books to become “bestsellers”.


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