How is your book club doing these days? If you're like most of the respondents to our October 2020 survey, your group has gone through some changes as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you're meeting on Zoom or gathering in person with social distancing and masking protocols, your book club meetings probably don't look quite like they used to. But not all change is bad! As we discovered in our research, satisfaction among book club participants is still high, despite the curveballs this pandemic has thrown us. We surveyed more than 3,000 people who described themselves as currently in a book club. Of these, three-quarters were still meeting regularly with their book group, either virtually or in person; the remaining quarter mos... [More]
We've discussed how book clubs have changed the way they source books during the COVID-19 pandemic, but what kinds of books are they reading? For our "Book Clubs in Lockdown" survey (published in November) we asked respondents about their reading habits during the pandemic -- from how much time they're devoting to reading to what kinds of books have been on the agenda. The responses are illuminating.[More]
Continuing our series of articles based on our November 2020 "Book Clubs in Lockdown" research, we now turn our focus to one of the biggest challenges book clubs faced – and are still facing: how to source books! Prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic, over 84% of US book clubs we surveyed included at least one member who relied on borrowing print books from their library. With many public libraries operating under challenging conditions, it's unsurprising that many book groups have had problems getting copies of the books they want to read. Despite these difficulties, it's important to note that survey respondents express considerable appreciation for their local libraries--and the near-heroic efforts of librarians keeping ... [More]
Introducing translated literature into your book club is a great way to expand the scope of what you read and discuss. Translated books make up a relatively small percentage of all books published in English, but within that small percentage lie vast opportunities to engage with unique artistic perspectives. Below is a selection of recent translations for your book group to enjoy. Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 is a feminist novel that makes a statement via its everywoman protagonist. It Would Be Night In Caracas and When the Plums Are Ripe show political events through the eyes of their distinct main characters. No Presents Please and The Black Cathedral are multi-faceted reads that explore individuality and community while offering vi... [More]
The media often portrays book clubs as more interested in gossip and wine than books, but actually, they're much more dedicated to reading and discussing than some would have you believe. I know because in our 20 year quest to provide exceptional reading recommendations to book clubs and inquiring readers, BookBrowse has surveyed more than 25,000 book club members, so I have seen firsthand that most are strong communities, passionate about books, vigorous in debate and learning. What I didn't know is how they've been coping in 2020. So, over a period of two weeks in October, BookBrowse asked book club members to share their experiences with us--and over 3,400 answered. We compiled their responses into a recently published repor... [More]
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, distinguished American poet, artist, and founder of City Lights Booksellers and Publishers, died in San Francisco, California on Feb 22, aged 101.
Ferlinghetti was instrumental in democratizing American literature by creating (with Peter D. Martin) the country's first all-paperback bookstore in 1953, jumpstarting a movement to make diverse and inexpensive quality books widely available. He envisioned the bookstore as a "Literary Meeting Place," where writers and readers could congregate to shares ideas about poetry, fiction, politics, and the arts.
Two years later, in 1955, he launched City Lights Publishers with the objective of stirring an "international dissident ferment." His inaugural edition was the first volume of the City Lights Pocket Poets Series, which proved to be a seminal force in shaping American poetry.
Hillary Rodham Clinton has partnered with Louise Penny on a new book, State of Terror, which will be published jointly by St. Martin's Press and Simon & Schuster on October 12.
State of Terror, S&S said, marks "a unique collaboration by two long-time friends and thriller aficionados." It also follows on the heels of 2018's bestseller The President Is Missing, which Bill Clinton wrote with James Patterson.
Yesterday, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance hosted a seminar on the topic of "Reining in Monopoly Power: Small Businesses and the Push to Strengthen Antitrust Laws."
The keynote talk was delivered by Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI), chairman, Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial and Administrative Law, who explained that the country's Democratic legislature was ready to act to defend small and local business against predatory companies. "We know that small and local businesses are going to be key to our economic recovery after the pandemic," he said. Cicilline noted that for a long time, companies like Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook were given a free pass and Congress didn't want to be seen obstructing the growth of entrepreneurial American companies. But times have changed, and Cicilline said, "we must level the playing field."
Bookstore sales rallied slightly in December from deep monthly slumps for most of 2020, but were still down 15.2% in the last month of the year compared to December 2019. For all of 2020, bookstore sales fell 28.3% from 2019, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau.
For the entire retail segment, sales for the year were up 0.6%, with December sales ahead 4.2%.
Deacon King Kong by James McBride has won the American Library Association's 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction. Fathoms: The World in the Whale by Rebecca Giggs has won the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction.
Lurking behind a groundbreaking lawsuit recently filed in federal court in West Virginia is a haunting question: What if?
What if local newspapers had been able to compete successfully for digital advertising revenue as their readers moved online? What if the powerful "duopoly" of Google and Facebook hadn't sucked up all the oxygen in this new digital economy, essentially asphyxiating traditional media by depriving it of the ad dollars needed to survive?
Would the newspaper industry be healthier — and therefore would our democracy be healthier? Is there still time for an industry to get up off its deathbed?
Everytown for Gun Safety, through its Moms Demand Action grassroots arm, has launched the Moms Demand Action Book Club, a discussion group open to the organization's six million supporters who advocate against gun violence via their state chapters.
"This is a new opportunity for volunteers to engage with one another on issues that intersect with gun violence," noted Shannon Watts, who founded Moms Demand Action on Facebook in 2012. "People are looking for ways to connect with each other right now. We're a family: we can use tools like Zoom not just to be activists but also to connect with one another and to have fun. The book club is an important way to do that."
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos will step down from his role as chief executive later this year and transition to the role of executive chair, the company said Tuesday. He will be replaced by Andy Jassy.
Bezos has been Amazon's CEO since its founding in 1995. He oversaw its growth from an online bookseller into a $1.7 trillion global retail and logistics behemoth, which has also made Bezos into one of the world's richest people. Jassy has worked for Amazon since 1997 and currently serves as CEO of the company's cloud business, Amazon Web Services, its biggest profit driver.
Combined print book and e-book sales hit 942 million units in 2020 at outlets that report to NPD BookScan (for the US market), a 9% increase over 2019 and the most unit sales recorded in a single year by BookScan since the service was created in 2004. In a webinar held last week, Kristen McLean, executive director of NPD Books, said the gain was due to a combination of strong sales of both print and digital books.
Merriam-Webster, the United States' leading language provider announced it was adding over 520 new words and definitions to the publisher's website. These new words include "COVID-19," "second gentleman," "long-hauler," "flex," "ASMR" and "sapiosexual."