You know how, when a bestselling author dies, finished but unpublished manuscripts turn up in the estate? You have to be suspicious when it isn’t just one discovery, but year after year new books appear. In the case of Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss, the find is legitimate. What Pet Should I Get, written and illustrated between 1958 and 1962, and inexplicably filed away by the author, was released by Random House Books in July, with a one-million-copy first printing. Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, the #1 best seller for two weeks, was unseated by What Pet, which sold 171K print units its first week out.
Vanity Fair magazine recently ran an article on James Patterson, in which Steven King remarked that Patterson was “a terrible writer” who is “very, very successful.” Patterson himself says his obituary should begin, “He was slowing down at 101, and had only finished four novels this year.” The grammar in that sentence kinda confirms Mr. King’s assessment.* You Patterson fans send your rebuttals to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now for your reading pleasure, here are a few factoids about public libraries according to Publishers Weekly. The United States is blessed with 16,000 branch libraries. (Not counting the mains.) It’s a myth that library borrowers don’t buy books; roughly a third of the people who bought a book in a given month also read one from the library in that same month. Federal statistics show that 1.53 billion in-person visits were made to public libraries in 2011. In 2012, a national survey found that libraries are more trusted than any other institution, including the military, churches, and police. (Congress came in last. Duh.) In 2013, 48% of Americans over 16 visited a library, and 70% of households with children reported that a child visited a library.