Insights & Media


Tito Rendas assesses the book sector in times of COVID-19


On the day of the celebration of the World Book and Copyright Day, Tito Rendas, Consultant at CCA's Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Department, writes an opinion piece for Expresso on the literary market in Portugal in times of pandemic crisis. With the worsening of the pandemic and the declaration of a state of emergency, book sales in Portugal fell sharply and online sales, in spite of their growth, are far from compensating for the drop in the physical points of sale.

"Specific measures are needed to support the people who sell the books and the people who publish them - and who pay authors and other industry players, such as proof-readers, translators, and paginators. And this includes small publishers, independent bookstores and used bookstores, all of which are fundamental for the promotion of bibliodiversity, that is to say so that we don't all read the same things", underlines Tito Rendas.

The CCA consultant also adds that « to date, measures to help the book industry cope with the crisis have not yet been announced. It is not enough to say, as Graça Fonseca has done, that bookstores can stay open as long as they sell to the public standing outside the store like pharmacies do. Books need to be smelled, books need to be touched, and dated. Books are often bought by charm and impulse. And none of this happens with paracetamol or ibuprofen".