Spain is going to be the special guest at the Frankfurt Book Fair. If we had to explain what this guest in 2022 is in terms of reading and its book industry, how would we make the introduction? What would the portrait look like ahead of the Frankfurt event? This is the challenge that María José Gálvez -Managing Director of Books and Reading Promotion (MCD)- decided to take for to opening the second day of Readmagine 22.
Galvéz structured her presentation to the international professional audience that attended her conference in the auditorium of the FGSR in four blocks:
- Current data on the Spanish book sector.
- The literary creation overview.
- Reading behaviour and the strategy of promoting reading.
- The public policy agenda for the book.
In reviewing the data, she used the 2020 figures, with a turnover for book sales of 2,500 million euros, ebook sales of 126 million euros, in a production that represented 0.9% contribution to the Spain’s GDP , among other figures.
In the case of statistics on reading habits, Gálvez presented the reality of a society that reads more and more each year, with about 65% of the population reading in their leisure time and a consolidation of the data reached during the lockdowns in the proportion of frequent readers with respect to the total population.
In terms of the Spanish market Gálvez explained that more than 50 % of the population bought books in 2021 through the bookstores as the traditional and main purchase channel. More people paid for e-books (43%), but there is still a big piracy area of those who downloaded content for free.
A crucial part of the presentation that can be followed in this video is related to the “Pact for Reading” that has been approved by the Ministry of Culture and Sport for these four years. The challenge is that there is still a significant 36% of the population that never or hardly ever reads and the promotion of reading should be a shared goal for the civil society and the different public administrations with the aim of repositioning reading as something more than content for leisure but a strategic tool.
María José Gálvez is the Managing Director of Books and Reading Promotion in the Spanish Government, which is in charge of promoting literary creation and translation, supporting the publishing industry and promoting reading, specially through public libraries. Previously she was Editor-in-chief for “Tirant lo Blanch” publishers, and previously worked in the Spanish Parliament and national government. Gálvez is Associate Professor at Carlos III University of Madrid, she holds a PHD in Constitutional Law.