Browsing the archives for the reading category.

Almost half of Cuba attends book fair

reading, the book biz

From Yes! Magazine’s article about the International Book Fair in Cuba:

More than 300 publishing houses from more than 43 countries have set up stalls and events in the fortress. The book fair will stay in Havana for 11 days, then it will travel to 30 other cities across Cuba.

Last year more than 5 million people attended the book fair, purchasing more than 6 million books. To put this in context, Cuba has a population of 11.5 million people. That means nearly half the entire population goes to the book fair. Imagine participation on this scale anywhere else in the world. In the U.S., that would mean no less than 152 million people coming out to attend, of all things, a book fair.

Do people read the books they buy?

reading, the book biz

In this weak, unfocused Slate article that’s kind of about bailing out the publishing industry or the future of publishing or something, there is a fascinating nugget:

In the mid-1980s, before he founded Slate, Michael Kinsley came up with an ingenious scheme to …  stimulate the purchase of books and verify that buyers actually read them. Kinsley went into bookstores around Washington and inserted coupons redeemable for $5 in the back pages of trendy political best sellers. No readers ever claimed the prize, which he took as proof that people in Washington buy books to say they did rather than to read them.

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