Trends…but are they really?

As we buy books each season, we see a lot of trends in what is being published.  I know that the publishers themselves are always about a year ahead of what people are reading (and wanting to read) because books take so long to come to publication. So, really, they are the ones who are deciding what will be the next big trend. But as a library, we get catalogs to purchase books for the upcoming season, and while there is always variety, we sometimes are slightly limited in what we can purchase…mainly because the books being offered are following a trend.

Of course, the whole vampire trend came on the heels of Twilight and led into many new series that had vampires (or werewolves) as the main characters. We’re still seeing a huge following of this type of book, mainly by teen readers but also their moms. (The books usually have a strong romance side as well.)

In children’s books, fantasy became quite popular after Harry Potter and this year, the catalogs were full of selections with fantasy themes, probably in the wake of the last of the Harry Potter movies this summer.  Authors are hoping to catch those readers eager to carry on reading fantasy after HP.

Ghosts and other paranormal are still really booming right now. There are lots of books with characters “waking up” after dying in a horrible accident, only to find they now have a mission to help those they left behind. I’m not sure how long this trend will last, but the selections for children’s books and YA were overflowing with paranormal ideas this season.

Now, while many of these trends are found widely in children’s books and YA books, adult fiction really has yet to follow in their footsteps.  But one of our staff members claims that she’s noticed a HUGE rise in people moving to romance novels….and she thinks it’s coming directly from people reading vampire/paranormal/fantasy books who are looking for that romance angle.

But, here’s the latest trend……the Titanic!  It has nothing to do with a movie revival or a  popular book.  It actually has more to do with the fact that in 2012, it will be 100 years since the sinking of the vessel in the Atlantic. Authors have jumped ahead of the game and released fiction based on the historical event, trying to anticipate interest that young readers might have when the anniversary pops up next year.  I think they’re smart.  Even though really young kids probably have never seen the James Cameron movie, there is and always has been HUGE interest in the event itself by young people.  We can hardly keep the books on the shelves normally, so I can’t imagine what it will be like next year.  I’ve already placed my order for several of the new fiction titles and I’m sure they’ll be popular.

So what’s next in trends? The word in the publishing magazines and blogs is that science fiction and dystopian fiction for MIDDLE GRADE will be hot for a while.  YA is trending out of science fiction and paranormal now and looking toward contemporary fiction or literary fiction (however, I think the more abstract themes will stay with us). Adult fiction always has stuck to broader trends…..thrillers, literary fiction, mysteries etc……rather than fine tuning what’s popular. (Although we’ve been asked for a lot more fiction by Swedish authors since the rise of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series.) It’ll be interesting to see what’s coming in the next few seasons……

Do you read to trend?


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