Book sales were up in November, the Association of American Publishers reported yesterday, but not by much. While hardcover sales were up 16.8 percent over the previous month, the year-to-year comparison with 2005 was only a 3.3 percent increase. The year-to-year figures are the most revealing, since some people start Christmas shopping in November, which can bring a large jump over October. Year-to-year numbers (that is, January through November, compared with the year before) show which categories are strong or weak over time.
Adult paperback: up 11.6 percent. Children's/Young Adult: down 30.1 percent (no Harry Potter in 2006!). Audio books: down 11.7 percent. E-books: up 22.4 percent. University press hardcover: up 3.8 percent. Religious books: down 9.5 percent.