The National Library of Israel has released Israeli publishing figures for 2021, as it does annually ahead of Hebrew Book Week.

Data points to a resurgence in the Israeli book market and indicates that for the first time, female authors published more books of Hebrew prose and poetry than their male counterparts.

A resurgence in the book market was evident in 2021, following a COVID-related slump in 2020. In 2021, a total of 7,344 printed books were published in Israel, in addition to 982 digital books.

That represents an increase in comparison with the previous year when only 6,487 books were published, but still less than the record figures of 2018 and 2019 when more than 8,000 books were published each of those years. These figures do not include final papers written in academic contexts, academic journals, magazines or press articles.

In 2021, 447 biographies and autobiographies were published in Israel, primarily by independent publishing houses; 72% were written about men and only 28% about women. There were 381 releases in the “Instructional Books” category, most of them dedicated to self-empowerment, relationships and family life, as well as methods for earning money. Some 74 books were published in 2021 dealing directly with the pandemic.

The majority of books published in Israel were released in Hebrew: 91.4%; 4.8% were published in English; 2.2% in Arabic; 0.6% in Russian; and 1% in other languages.

“Books Published in Israel by Subject Matter 2019-2021.” Credit: The National Library of Israel.

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