From the Wire

Why Does Every Famous Woman Have a Book Club Now?

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Why Does Every Famous Woman Have a Book Club Now?

Of course, it is not every famous woman, and in fact, that hyperbolic headline actually does the very real trend a disservice. A more interesting question is: why is it these kind of famous women? Mostly white. All in the entertainment industry. Mostly between the ages of 27 and 47. I think Gould’s ultimate conclusion is largely the right one: the cultural currency that comes with being seen as aligned with books, primarily upmarket literary fiction, matters to these women. Which is great! Except that it doesn’t seem to matter to the books who get a turn, ever so fleetingly, in an Instagram Reel.

Higher Prices. Fewer Books Sold.

It’s not just your imagination. Books are getting more expensive. More expensive enough apparently to offset that fewer books are being sold. South Africa, strangely, exemplifies both trends, with a 7.7% drop in 2023 number of units sold but a price gain of 9.6%. Is anyone out there trying to correlate this? Are fewer books being sold because the prices are going up? Would the number of books sold be higher if books were cheaper? And if not, why aren’t prices even higher?

Introductory Book Fair Etiquette

I’ve read/followed Rebecca Romney for a long while, and though I am not a buyer of rare books, I find the world completely fascinating. She recently posted a thread, now blog post, about etiquette at rare book fairs (this is aimed at institutional buyers, fwiw). I never articulated this way, but I love reading about the “etiquettes” of micro-communites, be it rare book dealers or baseball players or art dealers or professional fly-fishermen or whatever.