Monday, January 10, 2005

Too many books?

Luke Johnson in The Telegraph (free registration required) wonders if the publishing industry will drown in new titles.
They say there are three ways of achieving immortality: rear a child, plant a tree, or write a book. Quite a few of us seem to be having a go at the third category - over 1m titles a year are published around the world, according to the appropriately named book So Many Books by Mexican Gabriel Zaid.
But his conclusion is optimistic. For the book trade, progress has meant diversity and that is probably a strength.
New titles, formats and imprints help keep the business vigorous - as does originality. Ultimately, British book publishing will only be successful if it is original and creative: be it Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, books can generate ideas and stories that fuel all other forms of entertainment. Derivative content will never grow the industry - fresh talent and imagination are needed to keep it alive.

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