Despite might not be quite the right word here

UK book sales soared in 2020 despite pandemic

The entire population is locked indoors, alone, for the year. Book sales rise. Yes, obviously, we know that only 8% of the population is literate enough to ever actually read a book but still – that despite is odd.

13 thoughts on “Despite might not be quite the right word here”

  1. Began in earnest at the outset but have gradually lost enthusiasm. At the stage where I would happily exchange the cerebral for some inane barroom chat.

  2. It’s the Guardian. They probably associate book buying with browsing a trendy bookshop with sofas and coffee. Wait until they work out the books were bought through Amazon.

  3. They’ve overused “despite” so much in all of their BREXIT panic reporting that it has been transformed into the default word to be used whenever they have to combine two statements and want to inject a bit of insecurity or alarm.

    “Warmer weather leads experts to report fears of climate change despite it being summer.”

    “Colder weather leads experts to report fears of climate change despite it being winter.”

    “Trees shedding leaves at an increasing rate leads experts to report fears of climate change despite it being autumn.”

  4. “only 8% of the population is literate enough to ever actually read a book”: there are parts of the country where uneducated people refer to a magazine as a “book”. There those who read books will be much greater than 8%.

  5. Hardware, garden and music stores also did well. As did RV and camping equipment sales. Setting up business kitchens that will only cook food for delivery has also become something of a startup trend. When you think about it, a lot of this could probably have been anticipated. People are going to figure out ways to occupy their time and they didn’t want to cook every meal themselves. Surely it’s a failure of government that they couldn’t have figured out a way to stop this profiteering from happening.

  6. @AndrewC If you class “comic” only as the attempts at Testosterone/Tits’n’Ass of the US superhero scene… Yes..

    The french/belgian derived “bande dessinée” scene has a decades long history of producing “comics” that are quite different, with some stories classed as both Literature and Art in their own right.

  7. There is some very good work in the graphic novel area that has excellent story telling and art. Even some of the ‘standard’ superhero stuff has standout items where a story can be told, the Silver Surfer:Requeim graphic novel that features the character coming to terms with dying (cancer type not violent) is a solid piece of story telling by any measure.

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