If you’re reading this blog then you are clearly a fan of children’s books. But it seems a growing army of Brits are buying them too.
New figures released today by the Publishers Association show sales rose 16 per cent last year, with the increase mainly down to the purchase of printed works.
Exports of children’s books were up a third, reversing three previous years of declines, thanks to demand from India and China.
Apparently Waterstones is back in profit too, and puts part of that down to changing store layouts to make children’s books more prominent.
Big name authors have naturally played a part but even when Harry Potter sales are taken away, the industry is still in rude health.
The effect is partly attributed to parents wanting to reduce the amount of screen time children are exposed to, along with the amount of choice and new talent coming through.
You also don’t need to be a child development expert to realise the benefits of sharing a physical book with little ones.
Pointing to the words and turning the pages (or grabbing them and eating them in the case of Baby Bookworm) are great for their motor skills, along with trying out the exciting paper craft many picture books offer, whether that’s flaps to lift or animals that pop up.
Not to mention the creativity a child is exposed to. In the same way that vinyl records are having a revival because they offer so much more than the music, proper picture books have gorgeous illustrations and beautiful typography that are integral to the experience.
Nor do they require batteries.
Kids are natural collectors. Part of growing up is establishing your own safe space and possessions.
A shelf of treasured books give them something to take pride in and to value, and each one becomes steeped in important memories, be that an occasion, a person or a feeling.
Long may the real books revival continue!