Remake, not return

The possibility of some bookshops reopening on 15th June has been greeted with great relief across the industry, and with good reason. It has become plain over the past 10 weeks that without a physical high street, the world of reading diminishes rapidly for almost everyone. Sales in e and audio may be showing some pleasing growth, but it is a small sea in an ocean of lost print sales. Indeed, in this period most publishers decided that without high street booksellers, there was little point in launching many new books. Once the crisis has passed, we need to re-animate our powerful ecology of bricks-and-mortar with online, print and digital, by ensuring that a thriving high street survives.

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