Critical Linking: December 17th, 2013


List counts only first editions published in 2013 and includes paid units in print and Kindle.

Some surprises in Amazon’s top-selling Adult Print Books of 2013 list.


Rather than offer access to unlimited e-books each month in the same way that one gets access to movies and TV shows on Netflix, the startup lets users rent two, three or four books a month for a fixed price. Readers can then keep those books on their device indefinitely, regardless of whether they choose to stick with the service afterward.

Not really “renting” as I think of it, but I welcome all new ideas in digital reading.


Based on around 6,000 individuals, the analyses by Sullivan and Brown found that reading–reading for pleasure specifically–was an important predictor of improvement in test scores between the ages of 10 and 16. Reading books and newspapers during this period accounted for an increase of 14.4 percentage points in vocabulary scores, 9.9 points for math scores, and 8.6 points for spelling.

Interesting result, but are we surprised?


The American Booksellers Association, which represents independent bookstores, says its membership — it hit a low of 1,600 in 2008 — has grown 6.4 percent in 2013, to 2,022. Sales were up 8 percent in 2012, and those gains have held this year.

You can feel the hope in the publishing industry and retail community. Total number of independent bookstores up 25% in four years is good. I suspect though that with B&N closing stories and Borders gone, there are still fewer in total. But some growth somewhere is better than nothing anywhere.



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