The Booksellers’ Guild says it has experienced a “sad” Saint George’s Day with “very difficult” feelings, although it says that the day has been “more lively” than expected due to the support that readers have had with the establishments. Online book sales – by Libelista, Llibreries Obertes and direct bookstore websites or channels – have tripled during this Saint George’s Day compared to a normal day. Some data that the president of the Guild, Maria Carme Ferrer, warns that they are very low compared to the sales of a Sant Jordi. “It hasn’t been a St. George’s Day. We’ve moved Book Day to July, which is when we need repercussions,” Ferrer told ACN. The sector considers the quarter economically lost.
The president of the Guild has assured that “it has nothing to do with a Sant Jordi with the shops and the streets full”, after a day in which for the booksellers it has been “very difficult not to feel the nerves of the morning for what time would do “.
Ferrer does not venture to calculate what percentage of sales have been made this St. George’s Day compared to a regular day, when more than 20 million euros are billed. What the Book Chamber has calculated is that the losses are equivalent to those in the first quarter of the year. “Once bookstores had to close, turnover has fallen progressively, an evil to which must be added the cancellation of various forums and festivals and the same Book Day,” the Guild said in a statement.
The president of the Guild has lamented that on a day like today with bookstores closed, there have been establishments such as stationery stores that do not specialize in books that “have been used” to do business in the midst of a pandemic. “I’m sorry that someone can take advantage of these circumstances,” he pointed out.
Although on Book Day postponed to July he does not anticipate that sales can recover, Ferrer is “optimistic” about holding a literary party in which “everyone will enter bookstores.” “If we have to do activities in bookstores all week, we’ll do them, and whatever it takes. It won’t be a normal, ordinary St. George’s Day but it will be a book party,” he said.
Sales to Libelista
Libelista has broken its sales records for St. George’s Day with more than 1,600 books sold during the day. The platform driven by the Booksellers Guild “has exceeded all expectations” and the majority of customers, 67%, have chosen to receive the books at home.
The three best-selling titles in Catalan have been ‘Boulder’ by Eva Baltasar, ‘Canto jo i la muntanya balla’ by Irene Solà and ‘Guillem’ by Núria Cadenes. In Spanish, the best-selling books are ‘La madre de Frankenstein’ by Almudena Grandes, ‘Terra Alta’ by Javier Cercas and ‘La cara norte del corazón’ by Dolores Redondo.
During the confinement Libelista has doubled orders and sold a total of more than 9,000 books.
The initiative taken by Òmnium Cultural to buy books in advance Llibreries Obertes has reached 45,000 books sold, an injection of almost one million euros for the 457 participating bookstores. The best-selling books in fiction during this day have been ‘Canto jo i la muntanya balla’ by Irene Solà, ‘Boulder’ by Eva Baltasar, ‘Guillem’, by Núria Cadenes, ‘Que no t’expliquin contes’, by Natza Farré and Sally Rooney’s ‘Normal People’.
In non-fiction, ‘Brave Women’ by Txell Feixas, ‘The strength of the people’ by Jordi Borràs, ‘Sàpiens’ by Yuval Harari, ‘We will do it again’ by Jordi Cuixart and ‘Talking to you about love and freedom’ by Oriol Junqueras.