Noted statistician Philip Roth estimated, fifteen years ago, “…there were at most 120,000 serious American readers—those who read every night—and that the number was dropping by half every decade.” If this were even remotely true, then the New York publishing industry would have collapsed ages ago. Lordy, how would they make the rent on those Manhattan offices?
What is really meant by this, and what is really meant by this article is that a certain segment of the publishing industry is in jeopardy: literary (with a capital L) fiction. More specifically, literary fiction from New York publishers. Look at who is doing the hand-wringing, who is doing the worrying. If this is the end (and it’s not), then what, exactly, is ending?
Both posts have quite a few great comments, well worth the time.