Sales of physical books in August dropped 9 percent from the same month in 2010 in the United Kingdom, according to Nielsen BookScan. And spending on novels, in particular was down 15 percent year on year. There was only one category that didn't face a steep decline: science fiction and fantasy, which actually grew "thanks to the huge popularity of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire," writes the Bookseller. It's enough to make you wonder if Martin's books are having a similar effect in the United States — and if there's something about a huge, lengthy fantasy epic that people still feel more comfortable reading on paper. [The Bookseller]


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