Fewer books borrowed but more bought


Libraries in Malta may be buying more books every year but people are borrowing less and less, official statistics show.

To mark World Book Day today, the National Statistics Office issued a set of statistics related to books and other publications.

New memberships in public libraries decreased by 4.4 per cent in 2009 over 2008, while book loans went down 13.8 per cent from three years earlier, 2006.

A total of 25,529 books were acquired by libraries last year, with a staggering 24,322 having been donated.

People, however, are spending more on books, as a 12.6 per cent increase in expenditure was registered over 2008. Magazines and newspapers, however, seem to be losing popularity as a 3.3 per cent decrease was registered.

While the number of books imported increased by 5.2 per cent in 2009 over the previous year, there was a slump of 36.4 per cent in periodicals, which include magazines, newspapers and journals.

Export of books and periodicals declined marginally over 2008; export might also include books being sent abroad for recycling.

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