If you trust book people to do any math (at least one publisher probably has an abacus somewhere in a basement, along with nine million unread copies of Bill Clinton’s My Life and a dozen monkeys on typewriters) it turns out that it’s not all apocalyptic for publishing. If editors seem mopey to you it’s just because tweed suits can be itchy in this humidity.
According to a New York Times report on the latest industry survey from BookStats, publishers sold 2.57 billion books in all formats in 2010, up 4.1 percent since 2008. Adult fiction revenues were up 8.8 percent over three years. Teenagers are buying lots of paranormal fiction and women ended up liking their bodice-rippers in digital formats (surprising, because the covers are the best parts.)
And obviously this news bodes very well for the stationary, fountain pen and fancy spectacles industries.