Thursday, October 28, 2004

Bush vs. Books?

Well, it makes kind of an incendiary headline, doesn't it?

I ran across something interesting today. The two big bookstore chains, Barnes & Noble and Borders, both warned about their upcoming quarterly sales because of a) the hurricane (not surprising, since every retailer did, just about) and b) the election (surprising).

The idea is, the election has so distracted people that book sales are falling off. I know that analysts thought the election line was a crap excuse. I'm kind of wondering though... has anybody noticed lots of people seem freaked out, and email traffic has kind of trickled down to a minimum? I sort of wonder if everybody's just completely hunkered down, with the opiate of the masses (TV). Of course, it does seem the blogging community is thriving. Maybe everybody's just too busy blogging about the elections.

Anyway, I thought it was interesting. In the long run, I'm not sure I can imagine people totally giving up reading so that they can ponder this election, but I guess it is enough to send people shivering under the covers.

Thanks for reading,



Blogger Hebdomeros said...

Sales probably have gone down, otherwise they wouldn't bother with the press release. The hurricane can certainly take part of the blame, but the election? Sounds a little odd to me, especially since so many books are tied to Bush, Kerry, 911, etc, etc. That's all that's in the window of the B&N down the street from my work. Unless they did a poll of some sort, they really have no idea what the cause is. Interesting theory, though.

7:02 AM  
Blogger LadyLitBlitzin said...

That's very true -- the number of political books out there really really does make the excuse sound like bull. One of the articles I saw also said that Politics and Prose bookstore said sales were up on the election.

Still... being someone with a pretty active emailing life at both work and at home, the emails have slowed to a trickle. Which does make me think that to some extent, people are super distracted.

1:34 AM  
Blogger maikopunk said...

now that he's won the election, i'm sure georgie will get right on encouraging people to read again.
There's been a lot of interest in the US elections here in Canada. it kinda shows both of differences and similarities.
when 9-11 first happened i was working in a bookstore, and a virtual flood of books came out analyzing every aspect of the attacks, the ensuing wars, and the presidency. and the politics/political biographies have kept on a comin' since then. I don't work in a bookstore anymore, but every time i do walk in there is a groaning table full of the bloody things with some sign saying "World in Conflict" etc.
at the very least, it keeps the kennedy biographies at bay. i was getting really weary of those.

9:23 PM  
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