Book boom put down to literacy crusade

15th May 1998 at 01:00
SALES of children's books have rocketed as a result of the Government's literacy crusade, say publishers, writes Sarah Cassidy.

Random House Children's Books has seen sales increase by up to 61 per cent compared with last year's figures.

But specifically educational publishers saw only a modest increase in sales despite schools' pound;23 million windfall to spend on books, says the Publishers' Association.

Susan Blishen, of the Publishers' Association, said: "I'm sure the boom has a lot to do with Government initiatives. The literacy hour, the National Year of Reading, World Book Day and schools' extra money have all helped create a climate where books and reading are more valued.

"We were delighted with the extra funding and initiatives for providing books in schools. But educational publishers are very concerned about what will happen once the initiatives are over. They have suffered from slumps in school spending in the past five years, and this will continue unless more permanent funding is made available."

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