Richard Osman has praised the "passion and intelligence" of booksellers up and down the UK, applauding their hard work and adaptability during the pandemic.
Speaking at the Booksellers Association Conference in Leicester on 13th September, The Thursday Murder Club (Viking) author described the "very tough 18 months" booksellers had been up against.
Osman first spoke at the 2015 conference. However, instead of the "air of nervousness" he had touched on six years ago, this year he celebrated "an industry that has not just survived but thrived", and said more books are being sold now than in 2015, despite the industry being embatltled "on all sides" and facing "a competitor that undercuts you at every single turn".
The author, whose first novel became the UK's fastest-selling debut crime title since Nielsen BookScan records began on its release last year, praised bookshops for their support and hand-selling of his title, highlighting the "adaptability" of their survival strategies under lockdown.
"The pandemic forced many of you to take your business online," he said, a strategy which many booksellers have adopted and continue to benefit from. Addressing the number of stores that opened during the pandemic, Osman said: "We've added bookshops, we've added heart and we've added joy"
"Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Keep making the world a better place, and keep selling books," he added, applauding booksellers as he left the venue.
Osman's second novel, The Man Who Died Twice (Viking), is released on 16th September.
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