Somerset Times

Books, Reading and the Holidays




Somerset Times Edition

Week 8,
Term Four, 2016

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Book sales are up and what is more surprising is that the sale of print books has increased and holding steady. The digital apocalypse in the literary world is not on schedule and print is proving its resilience.

Whether pixel or print, the fact that book sales overall are on an upward trajectory is an encouraging sign for staving off the cultural apocalypse.

2016 - T4 - W8 - Info Services

We can all rejoice because Adult Colouring Books have finally disappeared from the Best Seller Lists. These books which have been dominating the book world for the last few years have been outselling novels, with the overlord of the movement Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden being translated in 22 languages and selling over 1.4 million copies. Let’s be honest, there are no literary triumphs here, just an an excuse to sit down, drink tea and eat biscuits all under the guise of being zen. Unless you are bedridden – just no.

What has been making waves this year are books about diversity and difference. There has been a surge in teenage fiction addressing themes of empathy and challenging our attitudes towards difference. Young Adult (YA) literature is exploring the complexities of growing up in the current landscape through hidden relationships, depression, different sexual orientations, religions and race. Visit our Reading InfoGuide to discover our recommendations in this space.

Because we exist in the same cultural universe as Star Wars, I can report that there has been a spike in books being borrowed with movie tie-ins. Our Circulation Statistics show that borrowing has again increased from the previous year. Whilst we can thank Star Wars for flying the flag here, the Goosebumps series has also been very popular with our Junior School boys as has the George Ivanoff You Choose series and our Graphic Novel collection. In the Mature Fiction area Allegiant, The Girl on the Train and Me Before You were all popular with our Senior girls. The Dork Diaries series are never on the shelf as our Junior School girls have taken to stashing them in obscure places in the library. A sure sign of a hot item!

For holiday borrowing staff and students can access our eBook library. Visit the library website, download the app and start borrowing – picture books to long form fiction, there is something for all ages. So put down the colouring pencils - colouring in a mandala is no substitute for reading.

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