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August 16, 2019

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A new chapter of book sales opens up

Book sales hit 2.3 billion yuan (US$327 million) in China in the first half of this year, an increase of almost 5 percent from the same period last year.

A report released yesterday at the China Physical Bookstore Innovation and Development Conference as part of Shanghai Book Fair said data systems provider Centrin Cloud found a surge in reference books for students.

But sales of literature and children’s books declined. 

Fewer new books were published during the period compared with last year, with the total 57,147, down almost 15 percent.

More than 98 percent of retail sales were at smaller bookstores. Large bookshops only contributed to 1.43 percent of retail sales.

Since sales at individual stores saw little change, the increase was attributed to the opening of more and more small bookstores.

In Shanghai, 10 new bookstores have opened so far this year. 

Branded bookstore chains are setting up more outlets in Shanghai, while more campus bookstores are being opened at local universities.

The city now has 31 campus bookstores at universities and aims to double that by 2021.

China Publishing Bookstore, the city’s newest bookstore which opened on Wednesday, is also one of the venues for the 2019 Shanghai Book Fair.

“We hope to explore a new way of cultural services in all dimensions,” said manager Li Siyu. “You can read, you can relax, and you can enjoy your own time as long as you come here. This kind of joy cannot be provided by traditional bookstores where you just buy a book and go away.”


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