These are dark and stormy times for the mass-market paperback, that squat little book that calls to mind the beach and airport newsstands.
Recession-minded readers who might have picked up a quick novel in the supermarket or drugstore are lately resisting the impulse purchase. Shelf space in bookstores and retail chains has been turned over to more expensive editions, like hardcovers and trade paperbacks, the sleeker, more glamorous cousin to the mass-market paperback. And while mass-market paperbacks have always been prized for their cheapness and disposability, something even more convenient has come along: the e-book.
A comprehensive survey released last month by the Association of American Publishers and the Book Industry Study Group revealed that while the publishing industry had expanded over all, publishers’ mass-market paperback sales had fallen 14 percent since 2008.
via The New York Times (Subscription may be required for some content)