The year 2020 and 2021 marked a major shift in our lives. We started thinking, eating, and living differently, and even reading differently. Reading time has grown from nine hours per week to 16 hours per week, according to Nielsen’s research on the Impact of COVID-19 on the India Book Consumer.
The anxiety of leaving the house, pollution, an unstable political situation, and unexpected death – the year was stranger than fiction. Readers sought out nonfiction to relate to and find an answer. They looked for solutions in Science, Technology, Self-Help, Spirituality, History, and Business to help them figure out their role in a new, uncertain world.
The stats revealed the reality as serious nonfiction began to fly off the shelves via online ebook gateways. Amazon’s adult nonfiction revenue has increased by 22.8 percent in the last five years. Amazon Health, Fitness & Dieting, Politics & Social Science.
YA fiction sales increased by 21.4 percent in 2020, while nonfiction sales jumped by 38.3 percent. According to the Nielsen research, historical/political biographies were the most popular among Indian nonfiction readers, followed by self-help/personal development and self-study such as learning new languages.
Youth have been exposed to easily accessible vectors as a result of advancements in technology and travel. As a result, Indian readers will pay for a book like Shashi Tharoor and Samir Saran’s The New World Disorder and the Indian Imperative, which outlines how India may affect the world’s future.
Beyond fiction, Indian authors writing in English are expanding their horizons. Publishers are as well. Neasha Mittal, the author of Rain takes the rainbow by storm, says that technology and pandemic have played a pivotal role in increasing the reading habits of people. Personally, she was deeply moved by social issues which impact society, and especially those which affect women. The socio-economic complexity of these issues was compelling and led me to conceptualize and develop an anthology, titled “Rain Takes the Rainbow by Storm.”