Found this picture on my phone and was reminded to post links to the report of the Government Literature Study, chaired by Tomas Lidman, on which I had the pleasure to serve for the past almost two years. The four of us (Martin Ingvar and Annina Rabe were the other two) were given the mammoth task of reviewing the state of both literature and literacy in Sweden. Luckily we were also given three insanely hardworking and brilliant bureaucrats for all the heavy lifting, and access to all the expertise we could wish for both in the industry and within government. The above picture is from our last day of work with the latter team.
The final 600-page report was presented at the Gothenburg Book Fair a few weeks ago. Our findings have been thoroughly reported on by the media, especially the alarming drop in literacy over the past decade or so, and our strong suggestions to make sure school libraries are staffed actual librarians, and to monitor so called “vertical intergration” (the process by which book publishing and distribution in Sweden is increasingly the domain of but a few big media companies). But we’ve also collected a wealth of new informtion on issues such as what professional authors actually earn.
The full report is downloadable here, as is the research anthology we commissioned as part of the work process.