Books: Hard Times in Hard-Cover Country

Can the Three Bears save the book business?

Book sales were up an average 14% in 1980. So why do writers have long faces? And why are publishers worried? The answer can be found in the bestseller they all ignored: The Coming Currency Collapse and What to Do About It. Cheery statistics of last year can no longer hide the sober economic facts of 1982: higher costs, escalating book prices and dwindling profits. "I haven't seen times like this before," confesses William McCarthy, buyer for the 20-shop chain of Kroch's & Brentano's bookstores in...

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