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Weeklings: Books by the Numbers

It’s been so long since I’ve posted that I had to dust off the blog’s dashboard before I could start. And, somehow, my fingers got stuck inside the computer monitor, and it was hours before the IT department could come to my desk and set me free. Very embarrassing.

The real problem has been a combination of late-summer vacations and early fall deadlines, but I’ve resolved that it won’t happen again, at least until next week. Fortunately, what with the Webcomics Wednesdays and Book Trailer Thursdays, I’m sure you’ve hardly missed me. (That’s your cue to tell me how much you missed me, by the way.) Part of what’s happening is that, now that Likely Stories is truly a team-written blog, much of the stuff that I used to write about is being quite capably covered by others–and then some. So I’ve been thinking about where I go from here, and have finally decided that it’s time to get back to doing what I do best: writing snarky asides about literary ephemera. Because, really, who else is doing that?

OK, somebody besides everybody else.

Actually, the plan is this: throughout the coming weeks, I’ll do what I usually do, which is hoard all the links I find interesting. Then, instead of not writing about them, I’ll write about them, crafting a week-in-review piece that cleverly elicits the themes and memes from the week that was. (Kind of like I used to do with my “Quickly” posts.) Now all I need is a name that isn’t “The Week That Was” or “The Week in Review.” Weeklings? I’m open to suggestions.

I didn’t really hoard many links this week–it was only a four-day week, after all–but, for what it’s worth . . . see if you can discern my cleverly concealed theme.

Number of literary landscapes rated “top” by Dame Margaret Drabble: 10 (“Margaret Drabble’s Top 10 Literary Landscapes,” Guardian). From Goredale Scar to Tintern Abbey, it’s a lovely list. Now just try to find someone under 20 who’s heard of any of the sites–or the writers who wrote about them.

Percent increase in length of books for teens in the last 30 years: 115% (“It’s Not How Long You Make It, Is It?” Read Roger). Horn Book editor Roger Sutton compares the average length of pages in teen books reviewed in 1979 (151) and 2009 (337) and finds that the phenomenon isn’t limited to Harry Potter, even when fantasy is taken out of the equation. (Now somebody check my math.)

Number of books James Patterson has, under a newly signed contract, promised to deliver to Hachette: 17 (“Patterson Signs 17-Book Deal with Hachette,” Publishers Weekly). No word yet on the number of authors who will actually write them.

Thank you and good night–and have a good weekend.

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About the Author:

Keir Graff is the editor of Booklist Online and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix.

2 Comments on "Weeklings: Books by the Numbers"

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  1. newrambler@gmail.com' laura says:

    That is a lovely list from Drabble, though it’d be nice to see versions of it from other countries. And do keep the snark coming.

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