Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Data: Happy Days Are Here Again!

Okay, I really intended to try to write up some book reviews today (it's been a long time, have you noticed?) -- but that may have to wait until next week, as time is of the essence as usual. But I can't resist pulling this data from today's Shelf Awareness:

Bookstore sales in November were $1.186 billion, up 7.5% from $1.103 billion in sales in November 2006, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. For the year to date, bookstore sales have been $14.654 billion, up 0.8% from $14.532 billion in the first 11 months of 2006. This marks the fifth month in a row that bookstore sales were up over the same period last year--and the second month in a row that year-to-date sales have topped last year's comparable figures.

Okay, it's a small increase, and a short-term trend. But it does seem to me to challenge the idea that things are just eternally spiraling downward for the book industry, and especially for bookstores. Note that "under Census Bureau definitions, bookstore sales are of new books and do not include "electronic home shopping, mail-order, or direct sale" or used book sales." So this is just brick and mortar stores, with sales this year better than the year before. Hooray!

Friday I'm in Poughkeepsie at BookStream (and keep an eye out for some cool announcements from there soon!) I'll be back with some book reviews on Monday. Happy reading!