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Latvians buying books online Baltic Word

Latvians rank low in online book purchases compared to EU peers. Traditional bookstores, libraries, and print books still reign supreme.

The latest data from Eurostat challenges the common belief that Latvians are avid book lovers, showing that they are not big fans of buying books online compared to their European Union counterparts.

In 2023, only 2.9% of Latvian residents purchased printed books online in the previous 3 months, ranking Latvia second to last among EU member states. This is a stark contrast to countries like the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Ireland, where online book buying habits are more prevalent, with percentages ranging from 21.1% to 23.5%.

However, this low ranking does not necessarily reflect a lack of love for books among Latvians. It could be that they prefer buying books from traditional brick-and-mortar stores or utilizing lending libraries. Or perhaps many Latvians already have a surplus of books at home, passed down from relatives, making online purchases unnecessary.

The data also reveals that the popularity of ebooks has not yet surpassed that of traditional printed books in most EU countries. Denmark, the Netherlands, and Ireland reported the highest shares of ebook sales, while countries like Cyprus, Bulgaria, and Romania had the lowest percentages. Denmark and Finland were the only countries where more people purchased ebooks than printed books in the 3 months leading up to the data collection.

Overall, the data suggests that while online book buying habits may vary across EU countries, the love for books in various formats remains strong. Whether it's the smell of a new book or the convenience of an ebook, readers across Europe continue to indulge in their literary pursuits in different ways.

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