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Sales of e-books rise 50% during coronavirus home-confinement

Reading time also up by half while various publishers offer some titles for free


20 March 2020 04:38 PM


ACN | Barcelona

Sales of e-books since the start of the coronavirus home-confinement has grown by an average of 50% in both Spanish and Catalan, according to one of the biggest book distributors in the industry, Libranda. 

Almost a week after the restriction of movement began, the paper alternatives are already noticeable to both large firms and small to medium-sized publishers, which have seen a sharp increase in e-book sales. 

According to digital reading platform Nubico, reading time has also increased by 50%.

The increase in e-book sales has also been seen in large firms such as Planeta and Penguin Random House, as well as local publishers like Ara Llibres, Enciclopèdia Catalana, la Galera, Anagrama, Gustau Gili, Edebé, Galaxia Gutenberg, Alba, Editorial Rock, Books of the Asteroid and Duomo Editions.

With only one week of confinement passed, publishers are beginning to analyze if the increase in digital consumption is due to the closure of bookstores, leading to people migrating from reading on paper to the screen instead, or, alternatively, the increase comes from digital readers who anticipated boredom during these days, and made purchases as a result.

According to the latest statistics in buying habits in Spain, the percentage of readers in digital media is 29.1%.

Other publishers such as Ara Llibres have also noticed a sharp increase in sales in new publications, such as Packed with Reasons' by Dolors Bassa and Montse Bassa, 'Breaking the Silence' by Mireia Boya, 'Guillem' by Núria Cadenes, and the chronicle of the 1-O 'All the truth'.

The average market growth in recent days of confinement is around 50%, as confirmed by Libranda, the leading e-book distributor in major international digital stores and independent bookstores.

Free e-books in quarantine time

The unusual situation of home-confinement has led many publishers to offer some free downloads of e-books. The initiative was started by publishers such as Roca Editorial, Stonberg, and Crime Books for some examples at the beginning of the week, as an act of goodwill to entertain people stuck at home for long hours.

In addition to offering open content, some such as the Nova Editorial Moll deliver home orders, taking precautions and hygienic measures.


  • A person reads an e-book at home (by Mar Vila)

  • A person reads an e-book at home (by Mar Vila)