Israelis attend the annual Hebrew Book Week in Tel Aviv on June 9, 2021. Photo courtesy of Miriam Alster/Flash90.

The Oct. 7 Hamas massacre and subsequent war in Gaza led to a 10 percent drop in Israeli book publication last year, an annual survey has found. Six thousand thirty-seven books were published in Israel in 2023, a significant decrease from the previous year, when 6,791 books were published, the National Library of Israel report revealed.

Increase In Digital

According to the survey, the marked decrease in printed books, particularly in the genre of Jewish studies, is partly attributed to “changes made by publishers due to the war.”At the same time, there was a 40% increase in the publication of digital books, including electronic versions of hard-copy books published in previous years, according to the  survey.

One hundred and eight comic books and graphic novels were published in 2023, a rise of 35% for this genre, as compared with 2022, according to the annual report.

About 10% of books released in Israel were self-published and author-financed, the survey found.

In the eight and a half months since Oct. 7, more than 80 books have already been written about the attack, in which 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were murdered and some 250 others were abducted to Gaza, triggering the Swords of Iron war.

The findings in this annual report are based on data drawn from an Israeli law requiring that two copies of any book published with more than 50 copies be deposited with the National Library of Israel.