Critical Linking

Critical Linking: The Most Read Stories, February 11 – 16th, 2013

Our daily round-up of bookish links. Tastes great with coffee.

 

Here are the most-read stories stories from the last week in Critical Linking….

 

Citing a reported figure that only 35% of fiction in the UK is bought through a physical bookshop, Barnsley commented: “They are under enormous pressure,” suggesting that asking customers to “pay for the privilege of browsing” was not an insane concept in the current environment. 

If your definition of insanity means “without sense,” then no, it is not technically insane. But that’s the best I can give ya.

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Tom Wolfe’s lastest, “Back to Blood,” which went with him five years ago when he left FSG, for the cost of around $7 million, has sold 62,000 copies to date. (That’s according to Nielsen BookScan, which does not record sales at WalMart, Sam’s Club or BJ’s. Not sure how well Tom Wolfe performs at WalMart anyway though!) That’s at least a hundred bucks in advance per copy sold. These things happen.

GAH.

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There are 314 clubs for paranormal romance fans alone.

Not much new about Goodreads in this New York Times piece, except “Hey, a lot of people use this thing.”

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If publishers paid ten cents per book per month to be shelved, that would deliver an additional $4500 a month — $54,000 a year — to the store. If publishers paid 25 cents per book per month to be shelved, the store would get an additonal $135,000. Since a bookstore would be doing quite well to earn 10% on its sales, our notional $2 million store would be happy to earn $200,000 in profits now so, in either case, the “shelving fee” would be adding a meaningful increment. Certainly, for some stores it could make the difference between staying open or closing down. For others, it would encourage a bigger book inventory. In either case, that’s what publishers want to accomplish.

This seems like an extremely logical way for publishers to subsidize physical bookstores. So logical that it surely cannot happen.

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Having ready access to books is just as important as a superfast broadband connection, and an inability or reluctance to read isolates you just as surely as a poor internet connection.

There’s a whole generation that thinks being without an internet connection is the worst thing in the world. That’s because they’ve not lived in a world without books.