The Book Publishing Industry Is Alive And Kicking

The world of books and reading is in good shape, says a new study conducted by Nielsen’s BookScan.

For those of you who worry that printed books and the general art of reading may soon see their end, these statistics presented by McSweeney’s will give you hope. Not only are book sales way up from two decades ago, book circulation and library membership across the US are at their highest ever. The report also mentions that the overall book-publishing industry is in good shape, even with the increasing popularity of Kindles and iPads.

McSweeney’s uses some statistics collected by Nielsen’s BookScan, a trade-sales monitoring service, to prove its point:

• In 2008, there were more original book titles published in print than ever before: 289,729 different titles in the U.S. alone.

• In 2007, there were more U.S. publishers than ever before: 74,240 (that’s compared with 397 in 1925). This figure has been rising every year since the data has been collected.

• In 2008, the last year complete numbers are available, overall revenue from book sales in the U.S. was at $24.255 billion, down just a tick from $24.959 billion in 2007, the all-time high.

• Library circulation is at an all-time high: 2.28 billion library materials were circulated in 2008 (that’s 7.7 circulations per capita) compared to 1.69 billion in 1999 (6.5 circulations per capita).

McSweeney’s: “Some Good News From The World Of Books”

Image by Rich Holman

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