A recent spate of articles about the resurgence of interest in real hold-in-your hand books warms my heart. Whenever I think of December at its center is the image of The Beloved Book Store, warm, glowing, full of promise, and the hours I spend there browsing, dreaming in fiction, and studying book and cover design.
Here is an excerpt from yesterday's New York Times article "E-Books, Shmee-Books: Readers Return to the Stores:"
Facing economic gloom and competition from cheap e-readers, brick-and-mortar booksellers entered this holiday season with the humblest of expectations.
But the initial weeks of Christmas shopping, a boom time for the book business, have yielded surprisingly strong sales for many bookstores, which report that they have been lifted by an unusually vibrant selection; customers who seem undeterred by pricier titles; and new business from people who used to shop at Borders, the chain that went out of business this year.
Barnes & Noble, the nation’s largest bookstore chain, said that comparable store sales this Thanksgiving weekend increased 10.9 percent from that period last year. The American Booksellers Association, a trade group for independents, said last week that members saw a sales jump of 16 percent in the week including Thanksgiving, compared with the same period a year ago.
At the R. J. Julia bookstore in Madison, Conn., sales of adult trade books in November rose 30 percent over last year, said Roxanne J. Coady, the owner.
I am sorry to see Borders leave the scene, but it looks to be a huge boon to the small independent book seller. Here is a recent Random House cover, for which I created custom typography. The subtle ones are often the hardest to do. Sometimes the job of typography is to be very quiet, almost invisible.....but just right.