Thank you so much for writing such an informative blog. I love it and visit your site at least once a week.
In an old post, you stated that nonfiction sells better than fiction. Can you elaborate as to why that is?
It’s consumer psychology.
For most people, a fiction book is generally a one-time read. Then it’s over. Done. Never to be picked up again. It’s a dose of feel good by escaping from reality fix. Some people feel guilty when they read fiction—like they’re wasting time that could be better used for saving the world or something. It’s hard to plunk down $24.95 for a hardback that you’re only going to read once, and then feel guilty about. Kind of like chocolate, but more expensive.
Non-fiction is like whole foods. It is enlightening, uplifting and healthy for the brain and the psyche. It is often read, re-read, highlighted with personal annotations in the margins, used as a reference for years—plus it impresses your friends when they see it on your bookshelf. Also, when it comes to self-help books, that same $24.95 might just change your life—making you prettier, thinner, healthier, richer, whatever.
Of course, IMHO, this is all total nonsense. Good fiction is like air—necessary for life. You should buy as many good fiction books as your budget allows. In fact, if you have to trim your budget, cut out cable or go on a diet.
And don’t feel guilty! Look at it this way: Life is stressful; everyone needs an escape.* Books are healthier than drugs and alcohol, and are much cheaper than therapy and Prozac! In fact, books should be tax deductible as a medical expense.
Hey, that would be a great addition to Obama’s Health Plan. I’m calling him right now. Who’s with me?
*P.S. Note my use of the semi-colon?