Add Joan Didion, 76, to the list of old writers making blanket statements about not reading fiction. Last week, promoting her new memoir Blue Nights [[Kindle]], she said, "Writing a novel, which is what I thought I'd like to do, turns out to be not very gratifying in the end because nobody reads them any more."
Nobody who? Oh, maybe she means Philip Roth, 78, who last June announced, “I’ve stopped reading fiction. I don’t read it at all...I've wised up." The same month, John Banville, 65, admitted, “I find I have no use for fiction any more.”
Overall, sales of all adult hardcovers and paperbacks fell 11% and 6% in August. Year to date, 2011 sales are down a steep 18% in both categories compared to 2010. Ebook sales are up 144% ytd.