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Report: Home Life and Educational Book Sales on the Rise

A report from The NPD Group reveals that as more Americans take shelter at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, more home life and educational books have been purchased.

According to a report from The NPD Group, while the ongoing threat from the global coronavirus pandemic is keeping more families at home these days, book sales in several publishing categories appear to be benefitting from more people staying home.

The report found that sales of juvenile non-fiction education, reference and language books in the U.S. have risen 12 percent year-to-date versus the same time period last year, and 38 percent during the week ending March 14.

“With more schools closing temporarily due to COVID-19, and with many parents now working from home, we are definitely seeing an uptick in kids’ educational and activity book sales this week,” says Kristen McLean, books industry analyst, NPD. “Leading topics include math, language arts, puzzles, sticker books, word games, geometry, study aids and coloring books.”

Books related to cooking methods specific to canning and preserving grew 29 percent, week-over-week, and 17 percent for the year-to-date week ending March 14. Container gardening book sales have grown 30 percent this week over last, and general home do-it-yourself (DIY) book sales increased by 8 percent, week-over-week. 

Sales of books related to travel, health and fitness, self-help and personal growth have all declined, as people stay home and prioritize other topics and creative pursuits.

“This past week, there’s also been a decline in U.S. travel books and adventure-travel titles,” says McLean. “Books buying presents an interesting window into consumer psychology at moments like this. We will continue to track book trends weekly as the situation continues to evolve.”

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