Saturday, February 16, 2008

Consumer Reports

You know how for years book pundits have been saying that too many books are published, though no one ever suggests that anything should be done about it? Well, evidently books aren't the only things of which we have too many.

In other news, bookstore sales were up a bit last year. Let us all light a candle for Harry Potter. Seriously.


Kelly said...

On the one hand I agree with the Slate piece...on the other, I am worried. I'm watching the chains close one by one in the mall I frequent (only 'cause the ice rink is there...I'd never go to a mall otherwise) and it's the only big mall for a hundred miles in either direction. Makes you wonder: Where will people in flyover country shop? Only online, I think.

Gail Gauthier said...

Yes, it's difficult for us suburban dwellers to remember how sparsely populated some parts of the country are. Sometimes when I'm traveling in far more beautiful--and remote--areas than the one I live in, I wonder what the people whose homes I pass do when they need, say, to buy socks?

Some people can't support local merchants because there aren't any to support. They don't have to worry about making a moral decision about supporting an independent bookseller or a chain because they don't have either.

J. L. Bell said...

Yes, the only two years of the past several in which the US Census Bureau saw bookstore sales rise were years when a Harry Potter book was published. Not a good sign for the industry.

(There are other numbers in the field, some of which aren't as gloomy, but none really look good.)