Rose FoxAndrew AlbaneseThe skies in Philadelphia are clear, but inside the Pennsylvania Convention Center, more than 8000 public librarians have gathered under cloudy and foggy conditions to ponder the challenge of e-book pricing and availability.

Reporting from the bi-annual Public Library Association conference in Philadelphia, PW Features Editor Andrew Albanese notes a strong turnout of PLA members, as well as a top-shelf slate of programs, including a stirring keynote address from Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. “There is a noticeable bent on advocacy, and of course, e-books remain very much on every one’s mind,” he tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally.

The coming edition of PW also includes the annual “facts and figures” compendium – with publishers self-reporting that 90 e-book titles rang up sales of more than 100,00 copies, led by The Help, at close to two million. That compares with only 16 such bestselling titles in 2010, led by The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, at 775,000.

For her weekly review of reviews, Rose Fox brings word of Cheryl Sternman Rule’s Ripe: A Fresh Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables. Organized by color, the vibrant volume, says Fox, “is a lovely and gorgeous book that aims to excite readers with delectable photographs and mouthwatering recipes.” In science fiction, The Weird – Ann and Jeff Vandermeer’s compilation of 110 weird stories from around the world and throughout the past century – is “ambitious in the extreme.” PW’s reviewer, Fox notes, calls it “a deeply affectionate and respectful history of speculative fiction’s blurry edges.”

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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