Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Ireland places third in new EU ranking for online buyers of books

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Around 21.1pc of Irish residents reported purchasing printed books online in the three months prior to the data collection for the 2023 study.

Ireland placed third in the EU-wide ranking, with 23.5pc of residents in the Netherlands and 22.2pc of Luxembourg residents reporting they had purchased printed books during this time.

In contrast, the countries with the lowest share of residents who bought a printed book online included Cyprus, Latvia and Bulgaria.

Ireland also ranked third for e-book sales during the same period, the research revealed.

Almost 17pc of Irish residents surveyed said they had bought an e-book in the three-month period before the study was conducted.

Around 22pc of those living in Denmark reported purchasing an e-book in this time, followed by 21.6pc of Dutch residents. Denmark and Finland were the only countries in the EU which had more people purchasing e-books than printed books in the three months before data collection began.

Just 0.6pc of those in Cyprus reported an e-book purchase in the period.

The share of the EU population making digital purchases of e-books and online versions of newspapers and magazines was around half of the that buying printed books online.

E-books were purchased by around 7.2pc of EU residents last year, up slightly from 6.6pc recorded a year earlier. However, this was stable compared with 2021 levels.

More than 13pc of EU residents bought a printed book online in the previous three months.

This rose from the 12.7pc recorded in 2022 but remained below the 14.5pc reported in 2021.

Around 13.1 million print books were sold in Ireland last year, according to a report from Nielsen BookData published earlier this year.

This was down 2.3pc from 2022 but value sales rose by 0.6pc to €170.8m across the year.

Nielsen BookData said that these statistics do not include digital formats, second-hand purchases or books borrowed from a library.

It added that adult fiction was the strongest performing sector last year, with the volume up 3pc.

Value of sales also rose 9pc in the same period.

Children’s writers took seven of the top 10 places in the list of bestselling authors in 2023, the report also found.

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