By February 26, 2008 1 Comments Read More →

Still a Future for Reading, Vegetables

On Outposts (“Book Lust“), Timothy Egan offers a well-worded rebuttal to Steve Jobs’ book dis. (It had better be well-worded, given how much time he had to write it–Simon Dumenco got there much faster.)

For most of my lifetime, I’ve heard that reading is dead. In that time, disco has died, drive-in movies have nearly died, and something called The Clapper has come and gone through bedrooms across the nation.

But reading? This year, about 400 million books will be sold in the United States. Overall, business is up 1 percent – not bad, in a rough economy, for a $15 billion industry still populated by people whose idea of how to sell books dates to Bartleby the Scrivener.


True, reading is down, somewhat, from 1992, especially reading of literature. So what? People are eating fewer vegetables than they used to – or should – but that doesn’t mean carrots have no future.




About the Author:

Keir Graff is Executive Editor of Booklist Publications and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix (2011). Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Keir.

1 Comment on "Still a Future for Reading, Vegetables"

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  1.' jay says:

    your right, the book industry quitely goes along with their business and nobody notices…

    How is reading dying when 90% of all internet readers are reading what’s on sites (HELLO, the Internet isn’t dying anytime soon), when people across the world pre ordered Harry Potters like they were going out of style…

    It’s funny though, I only really saw a few books being hyped up with major marketing for it’s release date. One was some Green book that Rodale published, it had a contest and all, and was even on the front page of Amazon for about a month, that book didn’t do too well. THen there was the Clinton Book, which it seemed like he was constantly on tv and having drama before it’s release date, kind of reminded me of some wwe markeing scheme, his book didn’t do too well, that’s about all I can remember.

    It does seem like most publishing companies have no marketing direction, nor do they do much research…One would think they would go about their business like the movie industry, spending millions to market the release date for that weekend, but the major difference I think, is that books have more of a life time value, so publishing companies seldom take that route.

    My favorite publishers are HCI (, as they seem like genuine publishers who put out good books and are not money driven like the rest of the world…

    Then there was

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