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Bookselling News

Word is out that the bookselling behemoth Barnes & Noble plans to close about 300 stores over the next 10 years, almost one-third of its outlets nationally. The announcement has surprised both supporters and opponents of the huge chain, though it’s very difficult for any of us who care about bookstores and reading to find even a glimmer of good news in this.

Out of Print Lists

If you enjoy looking over lists, here’s an offbeat one for you: it’s the 100 most searched-for out-of-print books in America. When you take a look at the entire list, you might wonder why anyone would be searching for some of those titles, but on the other hand, you just might be one of those secret Kyle Onstott fans. If you’re wondering what that means, we invite you to read on, please.

2012 Bestsellers

What were the books that Americans bought in the biggest numbers in 2012? Would you be surprised to know that about half of the list of the 20 top-selling books published last year were either Fifty Shades of Gray or Hunger Games titles? Would it surprise you to know what the remainder of the top 20 list looks like? We invite you to take a peep inside for some startling sadomasochistic, post-apocalyptic revelations.

Making Resolutions

The arrival of a new year brings with it a desire by many people to make resolutions, usually to do something better. It seems a noble idea, though surveys show Americans are pretty much divided about whether or not it’s a good idea. In fact, Americans are pretty much divided over a lot of things these days, including whether or not our major political parties are making sense any longer. Perhaps we need compromises, specially those of us who have resolved never to make resolutions. If you’re in that category or just need a little light reading, may we urge you on …

Finding Comfort at Christmas

Re-reading Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” has always been a welcome and much anticipated holiday tradition for me, as has a laughing perusal of the Christmas sections of that author’s wonderful “Pickwick Papers.” This year, however, I didn’t quite get the same spirit-lifting feeling I can usually count on from them. That’s because things are a little different this Christmas; there’s an extra urgency to be with loved ones for joy and comfort. We all need extra doses of that as we approach the end of 2012.

Worldly Intrusiveness

The world always intrudes, sometimes in small and meaningless ways, other times in startling and even hurtful ways. As we prepare for another wonderful holiday celebration, we pause for a very brief moment to discover that some familiar totems of intrusiveness — this time not-so- cleverly disguised as money — are confronting us once again. It doesn’t make for very pleasant reading.

Best Books of 2012

The approaching end of the year is inevitably a wonderful excuse for all of us to put together our lists of the year’s best books. Some of the lists carry a lot of weight — the one by the editors at The New York Times, for instance — and others, like the one you’re about to encounter, are definitely a bit more personal and, we hope, intriguing for that reason. And that’s one of the joys of these compilations: they are personal and therefore very hard to label as “wrong.” So please read on and see what you think,

The Traveling Ordeal

With the holidays upon us, more of us will be heading to the airports for our cattle car flights to grandma’s house. And you know you can count on all the airline hospitality you expect, unless you’re expecting hospitality. You need to be aware of some of the new realities of flying, which means that a reduction of airline fleets, the elimination of service to many cities and the overcrowding and overbooking that airlines practice will help to ensure a memorable holiday trip. But not necessarily a pleasant one. So be sure to bring along a really, really good book..

Big Pub News

If you care about books, you probably already know about the merger of Random House and Penguin to create the world’s largest consumer publishing operation. This merger will give the co-joined company control of about one-quarter of all global book sales. In other words, it just became that proverbial 800-pound gorilla. And what does that mean for those of us who spend our time and money in libraries and bookstores?

A look at reading and library habits

There’s a new survey just released by the Pew Research Center that contains some good news for those who still believe in the power and importance of reading and libraries. It seems that Americans young and old are reading — and they believe more than ever that libraries are a cornerstone of value in their communities. Of course, a lot of people could tell you that just from the ever-growing number of people who have turned to libraries in these tough economic times.