Monday, March 06, 2006
Disappointing Circulation of The Bradbury Chronicles
Surprised that no one is currently reading the book, I wondered how many people had read it since April 2005 when the book was published. Relatively few is what I found. The 29 copies have been borrowed a total of 72 times, about 2.5 circs per copy. In one library the book had been out 8 times, in another 6, and in a couple of others 5. In four libraries, the copies have never gone out.
It is not easy predicting what our readers will like. We rely on book reviews and on our sense of our public's tastes. The book reviews gave the book high recommendations. We also do not want to reduce our collections to only popular items, and it is totally appropriate to get some books that will not "fly of the shelves." Still, I would have thought there would be more borrowing of The Bradbury Chronicles by old Bradbury fans.
We will make some miscalculations, but we should learn from them and not go out of our way to make more. I noticed that five libraries are now buying the paperback, four of which own the hardback. I wonder if any of them thought to look at how the hardcover circulated. I think we have enough copies in system to share already.
In a time when many of us have insufficient book money, we need to buy judiciously and share.