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Bookseller’s Convention Opens Amid Optimistic Sales Reports

May 24, 1992

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) _ Buoyed by reports that bookstores are enjoying increased business while the rest of the nation slumps in recession, the American Bookseller’s Association opened its annual convention Saturday.

More than 1,900 exhibitors opened displays to an estimated 25,000 retailers, publishers, authors and others at the Anaheim Convention Center and neighboring hotels.

Association officials also circulated a U.S. Census Bureau report saying retail sales for bookstores increased 8.4 percent during 1991. By comparison, overall retail sales were up .8 percent, according to the report.

Preliminary reports for the first two months of 1992 also showed a 15.5 percent increase over the same period last year, said Bernie Raft, the association’s executive director.

″It does appear that the old adage, about books being recession proof, holds true,″ he said.

The four-day convention, which was closed to the public, attracted such luminaries of popular literature as horror writer Stephen King and self-help guru Robert Fulghum.

King, Flughum and authors Amy Tan and Louise Erdrich were scheduled to perform in a makeshift rock ‘n’ roll band dubbed the ″Rock Bottom Reminders″ during a private party Monday.

Retired Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf, who is promoting his autobiography, was to address the convention on Sunday. Former President Carter was scheduled to speak to the gathering Tuesday to promote his book, ″Every Vote Counts.″

Among the topics discussed Saturday was the development of books on compact discs. Sony Corp. is developing a portable electronic screen on which ″software″ books can be read.

″I think they will supplement books on paper and they will become a substantial part of the publishing industry,″ said Mark R. Pattis, vice president of NTC Publishing Group of Lincolnwood, Ill.

05-23-92 2228EDT

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