|Weekly News Digest
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'The Great Book Shortage of 2021, Explained' by Constance Grady
Constance Grady writes the following for Vox:
If there’s a particular book you’ve got your eye on for the holidays, it’s best to order it now. The problems with the supply chain are coming for books, too.
‘Think of the inputs that go into a book,’ says Matt Baehr, executive director of the Book Manufacturers’ Institute. ‘There’s paper, there’s ink, and there’s getting the book from point A to point B. All of those things are affected.’
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has been exacerbating existing problems in the global supply chain for nearly two years now. Add to that pressure a global labor shortage, a paper shortage, the consolidation of the American printing industry, and an increased demand for books from bored stay-at-homers across the US, and you’re faced with what Baehr says is a ‘perfect storm’ of factors to create what some observers are calling a book shortage. …
Most of this fall’s major releases have already been printed or have their printing runs scheduled, and any delays to those scheduled print runs are expected to be minimal. Still, some titles have seen their publication dates bumped by weeks or even months. Of those, some now won’t reach shelves until next year.
The place where readers are most likely to find themselves in a crunch, though, is with surprise bestsellers. … So if there’s a book you’ve got your heart set on reading in print this fall, now is the time to preorder. Otherwise, you might find your heart broken in December.
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