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Number of children’s books rising on Czech market

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Prague, Nov 3 (CTK) – The number of children´s books has been rising on the Czech market and they make up almost 11 percent of all sold books at present, daily Hospodarske noviny (HN) wrote Tuesday, referring to the annual report for 2014 issued by the Association of Czech Booksellers and Publishers (SCKN).

The number of published children´s book titles has doubled in the past ten years. Last year, more than 5000 were published in the Czech Republic with a population of 10.5 million.

“The society is realising more and more how important for children reading is ,” SCKN chairman Martin Vopenka told HN.

About one-third of the total number of book titles last year were translations.

A long-time trend is a declining number of translations from German and French. On the contrary, more and more books are being translated from English. In addition, the number of translations from Russia is on the rise and it has more than doubled in the past five years, the report on the Czech book market says.

A certain post-communist aversion to everything Russian may have faded away and Russian literature can re-gain its natural position on the Czech market, Vopenka said.

However, the far most popular books are still cookbooks by celebrities. The number one was written by Lada Hruska, “a star” of TV cooking shows, of which more than 300,000 copies have been sold last year, HN writes.

Other 2014 bestsellers were, for instance, humoristic novels by Swedish writer Jonas Jonasson, The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared and The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden, HN adds.

A total of 16,800 book titles were published in the Czech Republic last year, while in the record year of 2008 it was more than 18,000, and Czechs spent 7.2 billion crowns on books. This figure has not much changed in the past three years.

The average price of a book is about 240 crowns per copy, HN says.

However, both publishers and booksellers expect the book market to rise as of this year thanks to the introduction of a lower, 10-percent VAT rate on books, instead of the previous 15 percent rate, in January 2015.

The number of sold e-books has also been on the rise and they make up almost 2 percent of the market. Their sale has doubled year-on-year in 2014 when one million e-books were sold officially.

This market segment is expected to further expand since the number of e-book readers and tablets is increasing in the Czech Republic. At present, it is about two million and the average price of an e-book is half the price of its paper version.

Another positive trend is a rising number of Czech books translated into other languages, which is probably caused by higher subsidies for translations. In 2015, their volume increased by about 33 percent, HN writes.

This year, the Culture Ministry earmarked almost four million crowns for these purposes and more than 3000 books by Czech writers were translated into foreign languages last year, HN writes.

The biggest publishing houses in the Czech Republic are Albatros Media, Euromedia Group and Charles University, and the largest booksellers are Neoluxor, Kanzelsberger, Dobrovsky Books and Kosmas online bookshop, HN adds.

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