Here is what Winnipeggers are reading during the pandemic

WINNIPEG — Since the COVID-19 came into effect in Manitoba in March, people throughout the province have been finding ways to stay busy.

Whether it is a new hobby, home renovations, or even a new pet, Manitobans have been doing their best to make it through this time.

But another activity that Winnipeggers have been getting up to is reading.

According to the city, the digital library in Winnipeg has seen a significant uptick in usage compared to 2019.

From January to September, 967,895 digital purchases took place in Winnipeg.

That’s a 34.2 per cent increase compared to the same time frame in 2019, which only saw 721,500.

The numbers represent all digital copies of eBooks, audiobooks, eMagazines, as well as streaming videos and music.

Even though libraries were closed for much of the pandemic, the city was able to compile a list of what Winnipeggers were reading on their tablets and what they were listening to.

When it comes to eBooks, the top book that Winnipeggers read in the last month was The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett.

A pair of books about U.S. President Donald Trump made it into the Top 10 as well.

Disloyal: A memoir: The true story of the former personal attorney to President Donald J. Trump by Michael Cohen, was listed second on the list, while Compromised: Counterintelligence and the threat of Donald J. Trump by Peter Strzok, was at number 10.

For audiobooks, the Top 10 list featured Plutocrats: The rise of the new global super-rich and the fall of everyone else by Chrystia Freeland. That was the top-ranked download in the digital library for audiobooks.

The book about Trump by Peter Strzok, also made the list for audiobooks at number four.

The list wraps up with The Hype Machine: How social media disrupts our elections, our economy, and our health – and how we must adapt, by Sinan Aral.

BUSINESS FOR BOOKSTORES

Dr. Michael Ce. Bumsted, who is with Whodunit in Winnipeg, said the bookstore has been extremely busy, even when it was closed to the public in the early months of the pandemic.

“We’re quite busy in April and March while we were closed,” said Bumsted, “We were still here for pickup and we drove almost 500 kilometres worth of deliveries.”

The mystery bookstore reopened to the public in May and Bumsted noted they continued to have strong business.

“Part of it is being driven obviously by a renewed desire to read and renewed desire about more different kinds of things,” he said.

“A lot of people discovered us because we were open and selling books in March and April, particularly in the time when the libraries were closed.”

Bumsted added people also started experiencing delays with some online stores so they turned to the bookstore instead.

He also noted that many people in the city are more and more trying to shop local and keep local businesses going.

Top 10 eBooks of the past month:

1. The Evening and the Morning, by Ken Follett

2. Disloyal: A memoir: The true story of the former personal attorney to President Donald J. Trump, by Michael Cohen

3. The Home Edit Life: The no-guilt guide to owning what you want and organizing everything, by Clea Shearer

4. Fool’s Paradise, by Mike Lupica

5. A Question of Betrayal, by Anne Perry

6. Rage, by Bob Woodward

7. The Book of Two Ways, by Jodi Picoult

8. One by One, by Ruth Ware

9. Someone to Romance, by Mary Balogh

10. Compromised: Counterintelligence and the threat of Donald J. Trump, by Peter Strzok

Top 10 Audiobooks of the past month:

1. Plutocrats: The rise of the new global super-rich and the fall of everyone else, by Chrystia Freeland

2. Rage, by Bob Woodward

3. The Gifts of Imperfection, by Brené Brown

4. Compromised: Counterintelligence and the threat of Donald J. Trump, by Peter Strzok

5. Think Like a Monk: Train your mind for peace and purpose every day, by Jay Shetty

6. Eat a Peach: A memoir, by David Chang

7. The Gift: 12 lessons to save your life, by Edith Eva Eger

8. His Truth is Marching On: John Lewis and the power of hope, by Jon Meacham

9. The Home Edit Life: The no-guilt guide to owning what you want and organizing everything, by Clea Shearer

10. The Hype Machine: How social media distrupts our elections, our economy, and our health – and how we must adapt, by Sinan Aral

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