Friday, October 22, 2010

This Week in Industry News

 Amazon sales for print and Kindle e-book readers increased by 38.7% in 2010 during the third quarter. Whether this means people are reading more or whether e-book readers are the sign of the future is anyone’s guess.

With the popularity of such paranormal teen novels like Twilight and Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games Trilogy, Barnes & Noble is taking advantage of their teen fiction inventory, which is the second largest in their collection, by separating teen fiction genre. This is supposed to make the shopping experience for teen consumers easier. This week, after a successful trial run at their store in Hackensack, N.J., B&N is rearranging their teen fiction sections nationwide. This will not only allow teen buyers to “discover new books,” but will also allow them to “filter out books they’re not interested in.” Somehow I think the latter will be more likely than the former, which is dismaying considering that the joy of browsing through bookstores is the likelihood that you’ll find some title or author you never heard of before. This is the sort of ghettoization that Black authors face all the time. While their works are shelved in the African American section, they’re unable to expand their readerships. Author Bernice L. McFadden wrote about this in a Washington Post op-ed several months back. Do we really need more factionalization among readers, especially among younger readers? B&N’s new move will succeed in helping teen readers to seek out new books of different genres remains to be seen, but I'm interested in seeing what results from this new move.

New Releases

Benjamin Percy, Bernhard Schlink, Antonya Nelson, Paul Grossman, and Susan Henderson all have new releases this month. Check out for more details at New York Times books section.

And speaking of new releases, there’s Palo Alto, the collection of short stories written by actor James Franco. The Washington Post pretty much demolishes Franco’s first try at literary relevancy, while the Salon review is a bit more subdued. I'll withhold my own opinion until I actually read it.

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