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UK bookshops report record breaking week

Bookstores across the UK are currently reporting a large boom in sales since readers have been able to return to their stores after the lock-down. This boom comes with the first avalanche of Christmas titles being released, and the result is their best first week of September since records began.

New books from authors including Richard Osman, Elena Ferrante and Raynor Winn helped last week, along with around 590 hardbacks which were all published on 3 September, otherwise known as “Super Thursday”.

Many of these bestselling titles had been delayed from earlier in the year due to the coronavirus.

The book market made £33.6m over the week to 5 September, an increase of 11.1% on the preceding week.

Despite the governments stringent social distancing rules, which includes the quarantining of books and liberal use of hand sanitiser, book lovers quickly returned to book shops when they reopened in June. The first week they were allowed to reopen saw almost 4m print copies sold for around £33m, that’s a staggering increase of 31% compared with the same week in 2019.

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Osman’s first novel, The Thursday Murder Club topped the overall chart this week. The Pointless presenter’s novel managed to sell more than 45,000 copies in just three days on sale, making it the fastest selling debut crime novel, and the second fastest selling adult debut novel since Nielsen BookScan’s records began.

“We haven’t seen anything like it since Harry Potter,” said Pat Booth of Plackitt & Booth Bookshop. Osman has already sold two more books in the series to his publisher Viking earlier in the week and said he had been “overwhelmed by the reaction to The Thursday Murder Club, and am so delighted that readers are taking it to their hearts”.

There are around 790 more new hardbacks due out on the 1st of October and according to Kate McHale from Waterstones booksellers are enjoying this huge influx.

It certainly looks like books are enjoying something of a renaissance during this pandemic.

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