We here at The Latch love a good book. We brought back reading as a hobby during isolation and bettered ourselves with self-help books throughout the year. Last year, Australia saw a 28% increase in new book sales during the 2020 financial year. Total sales ended up topping $165 million (a first).
In fact, a recent report from global digital bookseller Rakuten Kobo revealed that we spent a grand total of 81 years reading last year. Yep, you read that right. 81 years. No wonder the year felt so long.
Why did we read so much? Nick Coveney, publisher relations and content lead UK & ANZ at Kobo, said: “With more time at home, people have had more time to themselves, to work on themselves and all the things they ‘didn’t have time’ for before.”
We all went from raging on a Friday night to reading on a Friday night. It became the most popular day to read – up from 40% the year prior. And uh…all of us across the Eastern Seaboard became massive night owls. Our favourite time to read? 3am.
As for what was read? Looks like we loved our women writers; 80% of the top biographies/autobiographies were written by women. We also loved our development and self-betterment books. Books relating to mind, body, and spirit were up 80% globally, while health and fitness were up 35%.
And what book trends will we see in 2021? One thing Coveney expects to see shine through is unique hooks and distinct voices. Another thing he anticipates? “A further rise in the demand for diverse own-voice narratives, to bring fresh perspectives to unheard stories.”
Readers are going to be “spoiled with fiction and nonfiction choices this year!”, according to Coveney. One book, in particular, to look forward to? Other People’s Houses, by Kelli Hawkins. “[It’s] a tense debut thriller about a grief-stricken mother spending her time touring Sydney’s open houses.”
Looks like one we’ll be adding to our reading list – whether via paperback, ebook or through audio platforms like Audible.