Shockingly Rosy Reports Show an Increase in Actual Booksales, in Actual Bookstores

Booksales up for 2012

Via the Association of American Publishers

We already knew that teens think eBooks are for squares, but apparently, young adults and children may be the salvation of the publishing industry. According to new reports for the earliest months of 2012, booksales of YA and kids' books in brick-and-mortal stores saw "strong double-digit growth." 

To be fair, eBooks also saw "massive" growth over last year, but that's not entirely surprising. What is surprising (and exciting) is the exceptional growth of the aforementioned categories, which saw an increase of over 60% in paperbacks, and over 68% growth in hardcover sales, as compared to the same period last year. In dollars and cents? That's $503.5 million in January of 2012, compared to $396 million in January 2011.

Publishers and booksellers are attributing this to both the holiday season, as well as big titles that are popular with the young folk (ahem, the Hunger Games). Additionally, this was the first holiday season without Borders, and many booksellers were wondering about how (and if) that would impact their sales, which, these numbers seem to indicate, it may have.

Whatever the reason, these numbers are pretty exciting for book nerds and advocates for real book stores. Also, it's good to know that eBooks and brick-and-mortar stores don't need to be mutually exclusive.

Image: 401K via Flickr

Hanna Brooks Olsen

News by Hanna Brooks Olsen

Hanna Brooks Olsen is a freelance writer who lives in Seattle. She's a regular contributor to Seattle Pulp, where she also hosts a podcast, and an associate editor at Blisstree. Follow her on Twitter to see the kind of non-sequiturs that 20-somethings enjoy, as well as the occasional live-blogging of various political events. You may visit her online at

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JamieMarriage's picture
JamieMarriage from Sydney, Australia is reading Spider, Spin Me a Web - Lawrence Block March 28, 2012 - 2:10pm

It is damn good news. As a species we have spent roughly ten thousand years putting things down in hardcopy; it would really be sad if we lost the tactile nature of writing.

Plus it means the trees won't get the chance to take over...never trust a tree...

Boone Spaulding's picture
Boone Spaulding from Coldwater, Michigan, U.S.A. is reading Solarcide Presents: Nova Parade March 28, 2012 - 6:36pm

The battery in my Kindle died a few months ago, and I haven't replaced it or replaced my Kindle. So, I'll take credit for this spike in booksales...

(I have a bibliopathic personality disorder...)

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading Stories of YOUR Life March 28, 2012 - 7:21pm

Well, it is cheaper to buy your kid a book than an eReader.

JamieMarriage's picture
JamieMarriage from Sydney, Australia is reading Spider, Spin Me a Web - Lawrence Block March 29, 2012 - 2:16pm

If you are looking at it just from an economic point of view eReaders are a good idea.

Kobo $100 + One hundred eBooks $1000 (giving it $10 a piece on average) = $1100

Verses flesh and blood (page and binding) books:

Bookshelf $75 (for a reasonable one) + One hundred books $2000 (average Australian paperback is about $20) = $2075

But I wonder about the long term when it comes to books; data gets corrupted, batteries die, and yet we still have documents dating back more that 5,000 years. So from a historical point of view, eBooks are just a fad.