Found the following scary statistics from a recent research in Brazil:
The average amount spent by a family per year on books is R$11,00 (around US$6), which is less than the average spent on newspapers (R$17,00 – US$9) or magazines (R$42,00 – about US$22). Yes, you read that right. Per Family. PER YEAR. About US$6,00, which is what a mass market paperback usually cost in the US (excluding the taxes of course).
I personally spent about something in between US$500 to US$1000 a year on books, and I’m not including the count on magazines and comic books / graphic novels. And that’s by myself, not counting my family.
Really scary. Not that the book prices in Brazil help a lot. They’re are expensive. Unlike the american market which allows for a more high end market via Hardbacks, and lower end via paperbacks, that barely exists in the Brazilian book market. The books end up with mark up prices that does not allow most of people to afford that.
It’s not just a criticism towards people who do not read, but also for the publishers who do not create a friendly environment that allow us to really breed that many readers, despite the Harry potter phenomenon, despite all the Twilight thing. It’s not reaching most of the people yet. And that just unacceptable.
What could be done? I’ve got to think about it, if you got suggetions, please comment.