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Congress protecting our children from evil and dangerous books

Good morning bookies! Stand by for news and comment.

So you know, I’ll be MIA a few days next week. No big deal, just something else on the calendar, so I might miss a day or two of this blog.

If today’s blog seems bitter I don’t mean for it to. It’s just that I have a low threshold for pomposity combined with grand-standing and buffoonery. So sue me.

*** Sales forums the internet wide are abuzz with the latest idiocy from the US Congress, in the form of The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. I have said that this blog will be non-partisan, and it will, but sometimes politicians will do something that drastically impacts the book industry and must be dealt with. And so it is with this latest piece of nonsense.

Supposedly this latest act was to protect us from ourselves, in other words, to make sure that products meant for kids were safe. Okay, fine, who can really debate that? In the wake of last year’s Made in China disasters, and with more of those sure to come, it’s hard to argue the big idea behind the law. But as usual, the actual people involved are so blind, so incredibly stupid, that one wonders how they ever got elected. As it currently stands, this law may wipe out an entire industry, just as happened with the once-thriving US yacht building industry; tens of thousands of jobs lost because the people writing our laws have the collective IQs of a street light.

No doubt this will come to nothing, the government will scramble and throw something together to cover their latest embarrassment but, and mark my words on this one, the patch will not fix everything and somebody is going to get hurt from this.

Latest Congressional foolishness threatens kid book publishers and sellers

*** Books-A-Million managed to outperform both Borders and B&N over Christmas, with sales down about 2.5%. That’s not good, but it’s nowhere near as bad as B&N, which was down 5.6%. I haven’t been in a Books-A-Million is quite some time, but unless things have changed drastically I much prefer their spacious layout to B&N’s cramped aisles.

*** If you know someone who pooh-pooh’s any idea that comes along, then maybe they have been waiting for October, when the authorized sequel to The House at Pooh Corner is being released. That’s right, Winnie, Tigger and the crew are all coming back for another go-round, and you just know that if this sells, and it will, there will be plenty more to follow.

Many people hate it when a classic series is taken over by another author, but not me. What’s to lose? If it’s bad, don’t read it. If it’s good, then how can you object to reading a good book? There are far more ‘Conan’ stories written by people other than Robert E. Howard, however, if that bothers you, then just read the ones he wrote. I have a feeling that Return to the Hundred Acre Wood by David Benedictus will sell quite well indeed.

Assuming, of course, the US Congress doesn’t outlaw it first.

Winnie is back!

*** Finally, the highest performing area of book sales over Christmas was children’s books, with the UK reporting an 8.5% increase over last year. Which is ironic, of course, given the above discussed law that might make selling those books illegal in the USA. One almost wonders if Congress is trying to stamp out reading altogether. At least that way nobody would know what they were up to.


Excuses, excuses


Sunday supplement


  1. Ah, got it. It’s probably my fault, I should have made it more apparent what were hyperlinks. But obtusocity, which isn’t a word, is acceptable here.

  2. JJ

    The problem was that the hyperlinks didn’t appear to me to be such because they weren’t underlined in my browser view.

    Sorry for being so obtuse.


  3. JJ- No problem about the repeats. Did you need another link besides the one to the publisher’s weekly article? If so, I don’t have a specific link, but you might look at powersellersunite.com, we have had numerous discussions there with many links to news stories. Hope that helps.

  4. JJ

    Okay, I get it. The message at the top of the screen was not visible until I scrolled up.

    Sorry about all the repeats, Bill.


  5. JJ

    Bill, do you have a link to the text of the legislation or to a site with a reasonable discussion of its merits/demerits/implications?

    Inquiring minds [and mine!] want to know.


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