Bowker released its annual report on U. S. print book publishing for 2011, compiled from its Books In Print® database. Based on preliminary figures from U.S. publishers, Bowker is projecting that traditional print book output grew six percent in 2011, from 328,259 titles in 2010 to a projected 347,178 in 2011, driven almost exclusively by a strong self-publishing market. This is the most significant expansion in more than four years for America’s traditional publishing sector, but removing self-publishing from the equation would show that the market is relatively flat from 2010.

Slightly more pessimistically: Paper usage for books in the U.S. declined from about 1.6 billion tons in 2008 to slightly more than 1 billion tons in 2011. A decline in paper imports and elimination of production capacity have led to decreases in freesheet as well as groundwood prices. Paper manufacturers have responded to the growing demand for inkjet compatible grades by developing new coated and uncoated papers.

And really pessimistically: Studies find that U.S. households continue to spend less on reading as a percentage of household entertainment expenditures. According to other surveys nearly one-fifth of adults have not read a single book in the last yearmore than double the percentage in 1978. (Interquest)

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