Bail out the book business….one book at a time

From Roy Blount, president of Author’s Guild. Pass it along!

“I’ve been talking to booksellers lately who report that times are hard. And
local booksellers aren’t known for vast reserves of capital, so a serious
dip in sales can be devastating. Booksellers don’t lose enough money,
however, to receive congressional attention. A government bailout isn’t in
the cards.

“We don’t want bookstores to die. Authors need them, and so do neighborhoods.
So let’s mount a book-buying splurge. Get your friends together, go to your
local bookstore and have a book-buying party. Buy the rest of your Christmas
presents, but that’s just for starters. Clear out the mysteries, wrap up the
histories, beam up the science fiction! Round up the westerns, go crazy for
self-help, say yes to the university press books! Get a load of those
coffee-table books, fatten up on slim volumes of verse, and take a chance on

“There will be birthdays in the next twelve months; books keep well; they’re
easy to wrap: buy those books now. Buy replacements for any books looking
raggedy on your shelves. Stockpile children’s books as gifts for friends
who look like they may eventually give birth. Hold off on the flat-screen TV
and the GPS (they’ll be cheaper after Christmas) and buy many, many books.
Then tell the grateful booksellers, who by this time will be hanging onto
your legs begging you to stay and live with their cat in the stockroom: “Got
to move on, folks. Got some books to write now. You see…we’re the Authors

What books are you buying this Christmas?  

12 thoughts on “Bail out the book business….one book at a time

  1. Rachel

    I’ll be buying The Lost Recipe for Happiness, that’s one!

  2. HB

    This is very clever! I love this section on all the book genres.

    I’m taking your question literal as I JUST bought a bunch of books for my brother.

    Thanks for letting me share 😉 I’ve read Consolations, Then we Came to and End, Out Stealing Horses, and Slaughterhouse.

    Then We Came to the End: A Novel
    Courtroom 302: A Year Behind the Scenes in an American Criminal Courthouse
    Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
    The Consolations of Philosophy
    Freakonomics [Revised and Expanded]: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
    Out Stealing Horses: A Novel

  3. Monica

    Arctic Drift, Clive Cussler’s new book for my son. My daughter is getting Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter, the second book in a teen series set in a spy academy. Les Stroud’s (Survivorman) book for my husband. I’ll be getting a late present when your book comes out.

  4. Barbara

    Thanks for those buying mine. Really grateful.

    HB, you’re a star of book buying. Serious reading there.

    Monica, the Ally Carter has such a great title! I think I might know her under another name.

    Over the past week or so, I’ve bought The Year’s Best Fantasy stories, Keeping Faith by Jodi Picoult, and two cookbooks to offer as prizes when the new website for Barbara O’Neal goes up (I had to put them away so I wouldn’t be tempted to keep them). I’m pretty sure there were a few others, too, but I can’t remember right this minute.

    Now I’m off to Amazon to see if I can find space opera for my beloved. This is one area I’ve never read at all, and I feel quite clueless.

  5. Barbara

    Oh, and I will only look at Amazon to see if I can figure out “if you buy this, then buy that…” for CR. I do love Amazon, too, but for the season, I’m choosing brick and mortar stores, to pump up the local economy.

  6. I’ve given several copies of The Daily Coyote. I guess from her site I figured it was going to be mainly photos of Charlie the coyote but it’s really the details of his life. Very well-written and at last week’s tree-trimming party (when I gave it to one friend) several of us kept picking it up and reading portions then sighing over the photos. Truly a lovely book and now I’m going to have to get my own copy!

  7. hb

    I wanted to give him things that “stretched his mind” a bit and he likes non-fiction 😉 So yeah, it’s relatively serious but that’s what he likes. I think he’ll laugh a lot at Then We Came to an End and Out Stealing Horses is a GREAT book for men. I liked it a lot but kept thinking, man, this would be better if I was a male ;P

  8. Barb

    I’d like to buy my father-in-law a book about the interpretation of dreams for Christmas. He’s been very interested in that lately. Can anyone recommend a good book on that subject?

  9. This is what happens when you don’t log on over the weekend — you miss a great topic!

    I’ve already bought several books this month, some as gifts, some not. I bought A VERY MARLEY CHRISTMAS for my youngest niece, and saw another, BATS AT THE LIBRARY, that was really cute and might go back for. I also got a book with photos from around Madison as a gift for friends in Norway–then added my own notes/anecdotes about some of the places photographed, such as the Farmer’s Market, Concerts on the Square, a lagoon popular for skating, etc. I thought it a great way to share places and events with them I’m always talking about. I might need to pick up a couple more copies of that one.

    I always put several titles on my Christmas wish list, too. I remembered a few fiction titles I wanted, and 1000 JOURNALS (based on the popular website/experiment), but completely forgot about THE DAILY COYOTE. I love my daily Charlie fix!

  10. Barbara

    I bought the Daily Coyote this afternoon. Also a copy of A Moveable Feast and hmmm….seems like something else, but I can’t remember.

  11. Cynthia

    For CR’s request for space opera: Bookwise, has he read Bujold’s Vorkosigan saga? If not, start him with Cordelia’s Honor, which is ca ombine of the first two books in the series. Aral and Cordelia and their son Miles Vorkosigan are some of the most vivid characters I’ve ever read.

    For video, tne new Battlestar Galactica series. Don’t laugh! This has been one of the most critically acclaimed TV series in the last few years. Start with the Season 1 box set, and then watch seasons 2, 3, and the first half of season 4 quickly, because the last half of BSG starts mid-January, and it ends after those 11-14 episodes.

    Sorry, I’ll take my geek hat off now…., but Barbara, I think you will be enthralled with these books and TV series, too, because the human (and non-human) characters are so richly drawn.


  12. Thank you for the great post. I really love this tv seasons. Can’t wait for the another season ! Keep up the awesome work with that 🙂

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