From The Guardian:
“These are dark days for the book in Brazil”, one of the country’s leading publishers has warned, after crises at the country’s two largest bookstore chains have left many worried that many towns may be left without a single bookstore.
After announcing the closure of 20 stores in October, book chain Saraiva announced in late November that it was filing for bankruptcy protection, citing a crisis in the publishing market that combined steady declines in the price of books with rising inflation. Rival chain Cultura has also filed a reorganisation plan to avoid bankruptcy this autumn. Brazil is in the middle of its worst recession in decades, with the October election of the far-right populist Jair Bolsonaro as the country’s next president sending ripples of fear through the country’s cultural community.
In a widely shared “love letter to books”, Companhia das Letras co-founder Luiz Schwarcz has laid out the stark reality of Brazil’s current book market, urging readers to buy books this Christmas to help the sector survive.
“It remains impossible to predict the full extent of the knock-on effects of this crisis, but they are nonetheless already terrifying … Here, many towns are about to be left without a single bookstore, and publishers are now faced with the challenge of getting their books out to readers and have to deal with significant accumulated loss,” wrote Schwarcz, who won a lifetime achievement award at the 2017 London book fair.
He added: “Publishing houses in Brazil have already been launching fewer new titles, dropping slow sellers from their immediate plans, and letting staff go. With Cultura and Saraiva in receivership, dozens of stores have been closed, hundreds of booksellers laid off and publishers’ revenues slashed by 40% or more, leaving a massive hole that threatens to engulf the publishing market in Brazil.”
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Brazilian writer Paolo Scott told the Guardian that the crisis had had an enormous negative impact on writers’ lives: “Their book releases are being postponed, their book sales are not being passed on to them, publishers have been much more cautious about what they are going to publish.”
Link to the rest at The Guardian