The enthusiasm for reading is reborn in Beauce

CULTURE. Since the start of the pandemic, reading has become a very popular activity with citizens looking for entertainment. In Saint-Georges, the independent bookstores Chaudière Inc. and Sélect were able to see this reality in their respective businesses.

Jean-François Genest, owner of Librairie Sélect, has seen an increase of around 15% in his sales over the past year. The offer of an online sales service has also had a rather positive effect on his business during more difficult periods.

“We are one of the only bookstores to offer an online service in the region. Citizens seem to appreciate this method of selling. We saw it in the comments. Residents found the online sales service as effective as coming directly to the store,” he says.

In Quebec, according to figures published by the Gaspard information system, the book market experienced a historic increase in sales during the pandemic. A total increase of 16.3% was observed, despite the closure of bookstores on 1is January to February 7, 2021. Compared to 2020, books published by Quebec publishers also increased by 18.3%.

“With us, the Quebec section is the one that takes up the most space in the bookstore. The second is that reserved for Beauce authors. This is a reality that was not present in the past and which shows the growing interest in Quebec publishers in recent years,” says the owner.

Chaudière Bookstore Inc.

For her part, Monia Morin, daughter of the owner of Librairie de la Chaudière Inc., says she is unable to give the exact figures for the increase in sales. However, she ensures that the clientele is much more diversified and present than before the pandemic.

“It’s wonderful to see people getting back into reading. There are a lot of seasoned readers who have decided to buy more, but a lot of new ones have started reading books of all kinds,” she says.

“Some experienced readers also have a higher reading budget. A client told me that instead of saving money for a trip, she chose to invest in reading, allowing her to free herself from her daily problems,” adds Monia Morin.

Remember that despite the recent health measures put in place by the provincial government, bookstores remain open, but must close on Sundays. “Television gives a lot of information and some people are mixed up and less attentive. It happens that customers are surprised by our opening when they enter the store,” concludes Morin.

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