Impact Of Covid-19 on Book Industry

Before the onset of Covid-19, libraries held a strong fort in the life of avid readers. Whenever a book is released, people used to crowd libraries and book stores in such a manner, that we use to see brawls at some places. Celebrity authors used to interact with their fans. The book launch events gained the media's attention and big publication houses enjoyed huge profits. But as Covid-19 has struck, bookstores are running in huge losses. People are not coming to public libraries due to fear of epidemic acts. Authors are also not able to interact with their fans regularly. Small publication houses are on the verge of a shutdown as they are facing problems in-home delivery, due to government rules and regulations. But there is a saying that, when there is a will there is a way. In this horror time, e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart are like knights in shining armour. Now people are ordering their favourite books online and within days they are getting their books. Some people are opting for digital libraries like Amazon kindle and Google playbooks to read their favourite content. According to a survey by Overdrive, there has been a growth of 33% for digital books from public libraries and schools. On further inquiry, it was known that social justice and remote learning were the key factors in eBook and audiobook usage.

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But looking from the eyes of a health expert, reading online can cause eye strain, headache, etc. Some of the readers are not getting time to read their favourite content due to work from home policy and online classes, which have been taken by the government in the wake of the corona pandemic. In nutshell, readers are searching for mental peace, and we can just hope that corona ends soon so that the essence of public libraries comes back which is a temple to all avid readers. We also expect bookstores to be fully functional to see the craze of book readers that we saw in the pre-covid era.

- Vibhor Bijoy

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