French book trade reports 20% sales surge in 2021

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The coronavirus pandemic may continue to cloud people’s lives, but it has generated a silver lining for the French book business. 

Sales by the 405 members of the observatory of the French Booksellers Association (Syndicat de la Librairie Française, SLF) rose by 20.4% in 2021 compared to 2020, and by 24.3% compared to 2019. Observatory outlets represent more than half of all the approximately 3,000 independent booksellers’ sales in France, according to Anne Martell, SLF president and co-director at the Martelle family bookshop in the northern city of Amiens.

December sales in 2021 were 14…