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Change brings good news and growth to the book world

The publishing industry has expanded in the past three years as Americans increasingly are turning to e-books and juvenile and adult fiction, according to a new survey of thousands of publishers, retailers and distributors that challenges the doom and gloom you often hear about publishing these days.

“We’re seeing a resurgence, and we’re seeing it across all markets — trade, academic, professional,” said Tina Jordan of the Association of American publishers. “In each category we’re seeing growth. The printed word is alive and well whether it takes a paper delivery or a digital delivery.”

One of the strongest growth areas is adult fiction, which had a revenue increase of 8.8 percent over three years. E-books are another bright spot — especially in genre fiction like romance, mysteries and thrillers.

E-books are not the only example in an industry that is transforming itself. Another major change is occurring in the mass-market paperback area that for so long has dominated beach reading and airport newsstand offerings. In fact, the Association of American Publishers says that while the publishing industry is expanding overall, paperback sales have fallen 14 percent since 2008.

Recession-minded readers who might have picked up a novel in the supermarket or drugstore now are resisting the impulse purchase. As a result, shelf space for small paperbacks has been turned over to the more glamorous (and expensive) trade paperbacks and hardcovers.

Bestselling mystery writer Michael Connelly worries that book buyers will not be able to discover new authors very easily if mass-market paperbacks continue to be phased out. But the good news for cost-conscious readers is that all these books are available free at your local library, whether on paper or digitally via e-books. So take advantage and enjoy!

Large print

“Beach Lane” by Sherryl Woods is a romance in the Chesapeake Shores series. “The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb” by Melanie Benjamin is a novel about Vinnie Bump, a member of the P.T. Barnum circus family.

“Buried Secrets” by Joseph Finder is a thriller featuring Nick Heller. “The Things We Cherished” by Pam Jenoff is an historical romance set in World War II Europe.

Knitting and sewing

“Stitch ‘n Bitch” by Debbie Stoller is a knitter’s handbook with 40 fresh patterns. “Knit Green” by Joanne Seiff describes 20 projects and ideas for sustainability. “Sewing Green” by Betz White describes 25 projects made with repurposed and organic materials. “Signature Styles” by Jenny Doh reveals how 20 women — authors, bloggers and entrepreneurs — developed their distinctive looks.

Other nonfiction

“In My Time” is the memoir by Vice President Dick Chaney.

“One Nation Under AARP” by Frederick R. Lynch explores the power of AARP — the 40-million-member insurance giant and political lobby that continues to set the national agenda for Medicare and Social Security. “Sex on the Moon” by Ben Merzrich is the true story of how a love-struck young NASA employee stole a 600-pound safe full of moon rocks. “Meditation” by Ian Gawler and Paul Bedson is an introduction to the varied landscape of meditation practice and its healing and transformation potential. “Absolute Monarchs” by historian John Julius Norwich recounts the histories of the most significant popes and what they meant politically, culturally and socially to Rome and the world. “Complete Guide to Diabetes/fifth edition” by the American Diabetes Association has been revised to contain the latest information on research, medications and treatments.


“The Desert of Souls” by Howard Andrew Jones explores the glittering tradition of sword and sorcery in the sand of ancient Arabia in the eighth century. “Miserer: an Autumn Tale” by Teresa Frohock tells of the fight over a plan to open Hell’s Gates to overrun Earth, the blast obstacle before reaching Heaven’s Gates.

Books on CD

“The Poison Tree” by Erin Kelly is a psychological suspense novel.

“The Madonnas of Echo Park” by Brando Skyhorse is a novel that tells its story through a series of interconnected tales.

“Bloodmoney” by David Ignatius is a tragedy of revenge set in the Middle East.


“The Stranger You Seek” by Amanda Kyle Williams features ex-FBI profiler Keye Street desperate to stop the Wishbone Killer.

“The Burning” by Jane Casey is the first book in a new series featuring detective constable Maeve Kerrigan.

Quotable quote

“Before any great accomplishment is achieved in reality, it’s believed in the heart.” — John Maxwell, contemporary evangelical Christian author, speaker and pastor.


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