18.5 million Romanians buy no books

Book trading is definitely not the most prosperous business in Romania, as 93.5% of Romania’s population doesn’t even buy at least one book per year. According to Eurostat data quoted by the Association of Editors in Romania, the number of Romanian citizens who buy at least one book per year is under 1.3 million, or 6.5% of the total population, which consists of roughly 20 million people. According to the association, this startling data means that Romania has the smallest book market in the European Union in terms of value and number of readers, reported.

The editor’s representatives believe that not even students and teachers seem to be interested in reading. The market for school books is estimated at EUR 30 million per year, of which the autumn months account for EUR 20 million. The traditional book market amounts to EUR 60 million per year. The sad reality behind these numbers can be easily seen through some comparisons: Bulgaria, with a population almost three times lower than Romania, has book sales of EUR 60 million per year, while Slovenia, which has 2 million inhabitants, has a book market of EUR 75 million.

The Association of Editors draws attention to the fact that other European countries have already realized the importance of endorsing culture. For instance, in Italy, citizens who have celebrated their 18th birthday receive a cultural voucher from the state worth EUR 500 that can be used to buy books, go to the movies, and purchase concert tickets; museum entrance fees can be paid with it as well. But despite the many choices, a whopping 70 percent of the value of these vouchers is used by Italians to buy books. The total book market in Italy amounts to an estimated EUR 2 billion, whilst the biggest book market in Europe is the German one, with annual sales of EUR 9 billion.

Title image: This concept bookstore in Bucharest aims to attract visitors with its stunning interior design


Author: Éva Zay