Bloomsbury hopes for ‘great’ Christmas period as people turn to books as cheaper gifts amid cost of living crisis

Bloomsbury is hoping for a “great” Christmas as shoppers looking for cheaper gifts turn to books.

Harry Potter’s publisher has said that the illustrated version of the Philosopher’s Stone will be the best seller this holiday season.

And Bloomsbury said Camilla Shamsi’s novel Best Friends and Tom Kerridge’s Real Life Recipes cookbook would fly off the shelves. Boss Nigel Newton said: “The public will be flocking to bookshops, avoiding more expensive Christmas presents.”

Top Sellers: Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

The publisher posted record sales and profits for the six months to 31 August. Sales for the period were £123m, up 22 per cent on the year before.

Profits were £16m, up 23 per cent on last year.

Shares soared 9.8 percent, or 40 pence, to 448.5 pence. The company’s sales and profits have been growing rapidly since the pandemic began, when the lockdown caused a surge in demand for reading.

Newton said the interest in reading sparked during the lockdown continued as those who had given up reading were “reminded to enjoy it”.