Showing posts from August 24, 2007

Link-Mad Response: American Reading Habits Will Surprise You

Okay, so if you work in books or read a lot you've probably heard about this: the recent AP/Ipsos poll on American reading habits (the whole thing is downloadable from their website - click on the August 21 survey, then the "Topline results" button), commonly reported in the following way: "One in four adults read no books last year." I met with a potential bookstore investor the other day, someone who loves reading but doesn't work in the industry, and even he had heard about it: "Didn't someone show that fewer people are reading now?" he asked. And that is how most people have interpreted these results. ( Why is the survey NOT described "Seventy-five percent of Americans read a book last year?" ) John Freeman of the National Book Critics Circle, blogging at the Guardian, used the poll as a taking-off point (or evidence) for an unhappy piece about reading in America , apparently inspired by a trip to Vegas (which I admit, depresse

Comment: Blogging and other investments

There's a very nice piece in Bookselling This Week about booksellers who blog , which features yours truly, among others: namely Chuck Robinson of Village Books in Washington, the staff of River City Books in Minnesota, the folks at Harry W. Schwartz in Wisconsin, Arsen Kashkashian of Boulder Bookstore in Colorado, and Megan Sullivan of Harvard Bookstore in Massachusetts. Megan I knew already, of course, and I'd heard of a couple of the others, but I'm really impressed with what store owners and staff are doing with store blogs. I think the blogging "model" Megan and I follow is a different one from what the others are doing, and I'm intrigued by the difference. The Written Nerd is less a promotional tool than a means of personal expression and connection-making -- my own personal mutual-interest-based social networking site, in a way, and an outlet for talking about the topics that are spilling out of my own head. Bookstore blogs are that too -- j