Thanksgiving night. A happy and peaceful day spent with the people I love. A lot to be thankful for.
Among the blessings, a quick and easy blog.
Sunday's USA Today had an article about the popularity of fantasy. Carol Memmott, the article's writer, says, "Sales of science fiction and fantasy books have jumped 8.5% in the past five years--nearly double the rate for all consumer books."
To help explain the growth, Memmott cites the Harry Potter books and movies as well as the renewed interest in J.R.R. Tolkien and his "Lord of the Rings" books and movies.
James Killen, a buyer for Barnes & Noble is quoted saying, "On average, we've seen annual increases over the last few years in the area of 10% to 15%." He says that the lion's share of the new fantasies are "adventures of huge scale told over numerous volumes." This is confirmed by Micha Hershman, the sci-fi/fantasy buyer for Borders and Waldenbooks, who says, "We have seen a double-digit increase in sales this year over the same period last year."
Another buyer suggests that the increase is because the kids who started with the Harry Potter books are now older and reading adult fantasy. The article also indicates that "the image of adult readers of fantasy novels is changing" from the stereotypical image of the geek or nerd. The new readers of fantasy come from all walks of life and may be looking for "the escapist appeal" according to the founder of Tor Publishing.
As a long-time lover of fantasies, I'm delighted to see that the rest of the world is finally catching up.
Hope your Thanksgiving was happy.