Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Forbes lists Literary Tastemakers
Who knew that the chronicle of capitalism even knew there was such a thing as culture?
In a fit of um...madness(?) Forbes Magazine, that bastion of business journalism, has elected 10 contemporary writers as "Tastemakers," meaning, according to the introduction, that the writers not only display hefty sales but have taken the contemporary novel to new unexpected heights (or depths). Well, knock me over with a 100-dollar bill.
But wait! Lest you think the pinstriped pundits at Forbes have gone completely bohemian, they explain this literary lark by observing that books are big business in the U.S. "In fact, in 2004, Americans spent an estimated $8.8 billion on adult trade books, $3.1 billion on juvenile trade books, and $2.9 billion on mass-market paperbacks," they rejoice. And, they go one breathlessly, "U.S. consumers will spend nearly 5% more on books in 2005 than they did in 2004."
The list, which includes, Zadie Smith, J.K. Rowling, Stephen King and Joan Didion, also crassly (and pointlessly) lists their sales figures for 2005 to date. Apparently the editors at Forbes need some kinds of numbers to pick their night-table reading by.

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