Fewer books bought last year but library loans increased

Book loans from public libraries stood at 910,976 in 2017, an increase of 8% over the previous year but families bought less books for home

Families spent less on printed material but borrowed more books from public libraries
Families spent less on printed material but borrowed more books from public libraries

Book lending remains popular with public libraries across Malta registering higher loans last year, figures out on Thursday showed.

The National Statistics Office said 910,976 book loans were made last year, with the most significant increases registered by libraries in the South Eastern and Northern districts.

Gozo was the only region that bucked the trend, registering a decline in book loans.

But the 8% increase in book loans notified by public libraries contrasted with a decrease in expenditure on printed material by families.

Book loans from public libraries increased by 8%
Book loans from public libraries increased by 8%

The NSO said that household expenditure on printed material stood at €37.5 million in 2017, a drop of €2.1 million on the previous year.

Families spent €21.8 million (-€1.3m) on books and €12.6 million (-€751,000) on newspapers and periodicals.

The NSO said imports and exports of books and periodicals during 2017 declined when compared to the preceding year.

Imports stood at €13.2 million, a drop of 22.7%, and exports stood at €5.4 million, a decrease of 14.2%. 

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