“Staffing is the trickiest part,” says Ray, who had to get an alcohol-awareness license. “All of our booksellers are bartenders.”
It’s hard to say what will happen with books in the future, but it is hard to imagine that the book will be completely gone.
In a period when there is more emphasis on how formats are faring rather than what categories are doing best, e-books had a stellar year, with sales in the trade segment jumping to $2.07 billion from $869 million. Sales in all the major print segments were down in 2011, with mass market paperbacks the hardest hit, with sales down 31.8%. Sales of trade paperbacks declined 6.5% and hardcover sales dropped 3.4%.
Only the Bible has been printed more often than the Quotations, which was a keystone of Mao’s personality cult. A billion copies circulated in the Cultural Revolution – the population pored over it in daily study sessions; illiterate farmers memorised chunks by heart. In the west, translations were brandished by radicals.
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