Viernes, 17 Mayo 2019 01:52

Challenges for the Argentine Book Industry

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Book Industry Argentina 2019 Book Industry Argentina 2019 Laura Heiss

In the last few years, Argentina’s publishing sector has had a big decline in terms of sells and consumption.

Argentina has always been recognised for its cultural heritage and for its appreciation of art, specially literature. It's no surprise then that some of the most notable Latin American writers come from this country: Borges, Sábato and Cortázar are just some of the names that you can find on bookshelves all over the world. But in the last few years, Argentina’s publishing sector has had a big decline in terms of sells and consumption.

If you take a look at the numbers there’s a very gloomy scenery. According to the annual production report of the Argentinian book, in comparison with 2015, there has been a downfall of nearly 50% in the production of books and the first quarter of 2019 has been the worst in the past five years in terms of sales and production of books. 

So what are the reasons behind this crisis? We can mention a few.

The main one is a repercussion of the high inflation the country is going through right now, reaching nearly 55% (being the second highest in Latin America behind Venezuela), and the currency devaluation which consequently rises prices. For instance, according to Leonora Dajment director of independent publisherEterna Cadencia, the price of paper increased its value by 145%.

Publishers also complain about the lack of support from the current administration. At the present, there’s no friendly or aid policies for the publishing sector. Mauricio Macri suspended law nº 26.206 of National Education, which main function was to strengthen school libraries of low-resource schools with the purchase of books by the state.

The independent publishers are the ones who suffer this crisis the most. Now they not only have to scrape the money together to be able to buy supplies (such as paper), compete with the big publishing houses but they also have to find their own tools to promote reading between Argentinians.

The main issue is that if as it is right now independent publishers are small enough, if they keep shrinking they’ll completely disappear from the market. Right now the challenge for the Argentine book industry lays on finding how to rescue this important cultural sector while at the same time battling with the economic hardship.

Read 15389 times

Related items

Neil's Tips: Argentina and the dollar

Coming to Argentina the first time, I had no idea how complicated the exchange rates and access to cash would be, if you don’t want to lose money!

Argentina: A Dream Fulfilled

Argentina. A land of many ecosystems and one of the largest countries in South America. As a young adult, I dreamt of visiting Argentina, especially after reading Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara’s, “The Motorcycle Diaries,” and seeing the movie thereafter. Although the story and book focused on Che Guevara’s life, images of the Argentine landscape could not escape my mind. So, I decided to learn more about Argentina’s ecosystems and communities in various parts of the country via my studies.

BA GUIDE: How to feel more at home in the city

Getting to a new city can often be overwhelming, especially one as big as Buenos Aires! There were lots of things I did when I first got to the city to settle in, and some things that my friends did that I didn’t. From my own experience, and having spoken to them, I’ve compiled a guide of how to feel comfortable in the wonderful cosmopolitan metropolis that is the city of Buenos Aires.

How to Help When Things Seem a Bit Hopeless

In a time full of uncertainty, it can be hard not to feel despair as the news cycle makes the state of the world seem ever more desperate and beyond repair. This can be made worse by social media, which exposes us to (often unverified news) on a constant loop, making it very difficult to feel anything but anxious and powerless. Unfortunately these feelings, understandable as they are, stop us from taking action. The more dread we feel, the more paralysed we become and the less likely we are to mobilise. And whilst any one individual is unlikely to effect great change, there’s a whole lot that we can do together! That’s why volunteering can be a great way to get involved with a community, and break this cycle of feeling powerless. But sometimes it can be hard to know where to start, so I’ll share a few tips with you that have helped me:

A long weekend in Patagonia

Bariloche was not somewhere I’d heard of before coming to Argentina. Rather, I discovered it through recommendations from locals and the Instagram stories of exchange students. In most aspects of my life, I tend to plan and research diligently before doing something, but on this trip I took a step back and barely glanced at the guidebook or google images before going.

Tips for being gluten free in Buenos Aires

When moving to a new country, or visiting it for a shorter period of time, it’s always good to know that you’ll be able to easily get food in line with your dietary requirements. In my experience, Buenos Aires is definitely a place where you can be celiac with relative ease. There are of course times when looking for gluten free food can be frustrating (as is the case in almost any country you go) but on the whole it’s probably close to the experience you’d have in any big European city. Here are my tips on how to eat (out and in) comfortably as a celiac in Buenos Aires.

Cultural Differences: Argentina & UK - Part II

This is part two of the cultural differences between the UK (where I’m from) and Argentina (where I’m living at the moment). Check out part one, also on this page!

Cultural differences: Argentina & UK - Part I

All of my comparisons here are generalisations, taken from my own experiences in the UK (extensive) and in Argentina (much less so) I’ve now been in Argentina for just over a month, volunteering as a communications assistant and I thought now was a great time to take a step back and note down some of the differences I’ve noticed in my short time here. The differences I’ve briefly outlined are completely based on my own experiences. Give this a read and see if the ones I’ve noticed match up with your own perceptions!
Login to post comments