Physical bookstore sales decline as people buy more online

The sale price of children's books made up a large part of overall sales at 26.25 percent, followed by social science books at 24.57 percent. 

The sales of books in China's physical bookstores declined by nearly 3 percent in the first half of this year over the same period last year, while online book sales saw an increase of more than 20 percent, data released at the Shanghai Book Fair on Thursday showed.

According to data from OpenBook, a Beijing-based publishing market monitor and information service provider, sales of books in China between January and June this year increased by 11.37 percent over the same period last year, though the pace of growth slowed down.

The sale price of children's books made up a large part of overall sales at 26.25 percent, followed by social science books at 24.57 percent.

Jiang Xiliang, president of OpenBook, pointed out that physical bookstores should lay more emphasis on the services rather than just selling books.

According to Xu Jiong, director of the city's press and publications administration, last year there were more than 20 new physical bookstores opened in Shanghai, and a similar number will open this year.

Shanghai-based Dayin Bookmall said at the conference that they will have a total of 11 new stores opening this year. Besides the variety of books, they also provide activities relating to Chinese culture, including bamboo weaving, paper cutting, ceramics, tea practice, flower arrangement and ancient Chinese plucked instrument playing.


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