By Siobhan O’Leary
Booksellers in the US and UK may be struggling, but the latest news from Thalia — Germany’s largest book chain — is actually encouraging. Parent company Douglas AG announced a 7.5% increase in sales for the period from October 2008 to June 2009, for a total of 618.6 million euros, reports buchreport.de. However, a large part of of this growth can be attributed to the opening of new stores chain and a more accurate assessment, discounting the additional space, puts the growth rate at 0.8%.
German kids sure do love their books. According to a survey conducted by Ehapa (a company which tracks the the media consumption habits of German 6 to 13-year-olds) some 90% of children said they read periodicals or books (books on their own came in at 82%). Last year those numbers were slightly lower, at 86% and 79% respectively, according to a brief summary of the report published in the Boersenblatt. Nevertheless, it’s candy that wins out over all: In the past year kids spent most of their money on sweets, periodicals, and ice cream — in that order.