Sunday, May 8, 2011

A 50-Book List in This Economy

Well here's a little nugget from the UK. The Independent online newspaper just released an 'official' 50-book list, deemed the fifty books that every child, eleven years old, should read. Talk about advertising; The Independent, being on par with the Huffington Post in America, is one of the most read online magazines in Britain, and has an enormous fan base, which, statistically, must have a good handful of parents of younger-aged children. While many of the books on the list could be considered classical works, many are contemporary works by authors still avidly working their craft.

Regardless of whether the literacy rate rises, or the average books-read-per-year increases due to this list being published is insignificant. What this list will surely do, is increase both the supply and demand of all the books given on the list. As parents flock to bookstores to buy the 'books all their kids should be reading,' the price for each book will naturally increase to eliminate the excess demand that could spring up from this list. Going past the books though, what does this mean for bookstores? It's safe to assume that, because many of the books are classics that the parents have read themselves, some parents will succumb to reacquiring the old editions of the books that they read as children, meaning small business bookstores could see a small surge in customers due to this list as well, as the large, chain book retailers tend to stock only the most modern versions of the books on their shelves.

-Zander Mapes

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