Who likes reading fiction?

There was a report on the News a few months ago about a big surge in the quantity of books being bought as the pandemic took hold and home working and home schooling became the new normal for so many people.

At about the same time The Guardian was reporting an increase in the sale of books overall and fiction in particular.

It will be interesting to see up-to-date figures from Nielsen BookScan, the UK’s official book sales monitor and to find out if the pandemic trend towards reading for pleasure and escapism has continued.

This is in marked contrast to a few years ago when the Publishers’ Association revealed a disturbing truth for lovers of fiction. 2016 saw a 7% fall in the sale of fiction books which contributed to an overall decline since 2012 of 23%.

This means there were almost a quarter fewer purchasers of novels in 2016 than there were five years previously. If that trend had continued it would have been disastrous. There aren’t many positive aspects to the pandemic but if it’s caused lots of readers to re-discover the pleasures of reading fiction that can only be for the good.

I think that the experience of getting lost in a book is one of the greatest joys in life.

I started reading stories when I was very young and have been reading fiction, classics, literature and popular novels throughout my life.

I know several people who rarely read fiction and they don’t think their life is any the less because of it. But how do they know if they never read anything other than facts? I think they’re missing out but they don’t agree. What do you think?

I do like a good quote and here are three corkers:

Fiction reveals truth that reality obscures, Ralph Waldo Emmerson.

There is no doubt fiction makes a better job of the truth, Doris Lessing.

Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth, Albert Camus.

I can’t imagine a world without stories and I always have the next few novels I’m going to read waiting for me on my Kindle. I don’t need any excuses to settle down for a good read but it’s wonderful to know that the tide might have turned during the pandemic and lots of other people have returned to novels.

Or are they actually listening to audiobooks. Now that’s a technology that’s never appealed to me but I gather it’s hugely popular. It will be interesting to see what Nielsen BookScan have to say about audiobooks. Although not for me, I think it’s much better if readers of fiction become listeners to fiction rather than not at all.

I’ll say goodbye today with this quote from Gabriel García Márquez:

Fiction was invented the day Jonah arrived home and told his wife that he was three days late because he had been swallowed by a whale. (Gabriel García Márquez)

Thanks for visiting my blog today. Happy Reading!