Back from upstate NY and temps that ran into the single digits. Made an early exit on Thursday when the flurries started and the extreme cold had the power steering on the Old Horse whining like a coffee grinder.
But came home to some good news from the stacks:
Book sellers may have faced challenges in recent years, but it was a very merry Christmas at one venerable New York City bookshop.
The Strand’s vice president, Eddie Sutton, said Thursday the Manhattan shop had the best sales day in its 86-year history on Saturday, and then again on Monday.
He says Saturday’s gross sales beat the previous record, set last year, by 12%. Monday’s were a hair more. And Tuesday’s sales were 25% bigger than the best previous Christmas Eve.
Meanwhile, even though print still has its problems and treads cautiously, e-book sales seem to have flattened out:
The Association of American Publishers, which collects monthly data from about 1,200 publishers, said last month that e-book sales had been flat or in decline for most of 2013. In August, e-book sales were approximately $128 million, a 3 percent decline from August 2012.
“I don’t know if it’s a saturation point with digital,” Len Vlahos, the executive director of the Book Industry Study Group, said in a recent interview. “But all the data we see suggests that we’ve hit a state of equilibrium. The trend lines have flattened out. Three years ago, it was a nascent market, but now it looks like a maturing market.”
Jennifer Enderlin, the publisher of St. Martin’s Press Paperbacks and Griffin, said that she thought e-book sales were finding their level, and that it would “start affecting print books in a good way.”
“Independents seem to be having a good run right now,” she said of the bookstores. “They’re having a nice renaissance.”
Two couples even found the Strand a perfect placed to get engaged.
Love among the stacks. Kindle that…or not…
photo © Avi Solomon