A bestselling author has sent out an S-O-S for the book trade. Last week James Patterson took out ads on the cover of Publisher Weekly, in The New York Times Book Review, and in Kirkus asking the questions, “Who will save our books? Our bookstores? Our libraries?” Judging by the ensuing media coverage, he achieved his aim – to open up a public dialogue about the survival of publishing.
“Is the book endangered? That’s up for debate, I think. The book is changing, for sure. And certainly, reading is under pressure,” Andrew Albanese, PW’s senior writer, tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “But I think Patterson is to be commended for stirring the pot, because I would like to see more voices in the discussion.”
Albanese also reveals the winner of PW’s Bookstore of the Year Award – Square Books of Oxford, Miss., the center of the fictional Yoknapatawpha County in William Faulkner’s novels. Founded by Richard and Lisa Howorth in 1979, the store has grown into a trio of storefronts over the past three decades, and hosts “Thacker Mountain Radio,” a live radio show with author readings and musical performances that airs on Mississippi Public Radio, as well as the annual Oxford Conference on the Book.
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.