New in Paperback

If your books groups are like mine, one of the magic words for book selection is “paperback.” If the book isn’t available in that format yet, it will be deemed too expensive by many group members. Additionally, books that are in paperback have usually been out long enough to clear the hold list at libraries. In general, I think it’s a good idea to wait about a year after a new release regardless of format. Sometimes the initial buzz for books is more manufactured than deserved, and waiting a year for reactions to shake out will help improve the average quality of the books your group selects.

When I’m looking for books that are new in paperback, I have a few go-to resources. NPR’s bestseller lists include a paperback fiction and nonfiction list from the Independent Bookseller Association, which I find more apt for book group picks than the New York Times list. The NPR site also includes prior lists. An example of their most recent lists can be found here. The latest list can also be found on the IndieBound site, where you can also check in on the Next List and get ready for your picks a year from now.

A second resource for such lists is at Bookreporter.com. Their round-up of New in Paperback items is based on what titles have caught their eye, not just on sales figure. They also have a nice backlist of previous New in Paperback lists.

While I find their results a little more hit-and-miss, Amazon and Barnes and Noble both have pages devoted to paperback items. In both cases, go to their main books pages then look down the columns of links on the left for the “Paperback Store.”

If you have more recommended resources for book groups in search of what is new in paperback, please share them in the comments.

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About the Author:

Neil Hollands is an Adult Services Librarian at Williamsburg Regional Library in Virginia, where he specializes in readers’ advisory and collection development. He is the author of Read On . . . Fantasy Fiction (2007) and Fellowship in a Ring: a Guide for Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Groups (2009).

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