The ReportAugust 2006

Out of Print Books in the News

98 to 99% of all books ever published are now out of print; the books we see for sale at the local chain bookstore constitute the tiniest fraction of the entirety of human print culture. As we track the most sought-after out-of-print titles in America, we've been fascinated to discover some of the choices that real readers make when they seek out books that are, by definition, not being actively marketed to them by the publishing industry.

The Bed Book by Sylvia Plath
Yes, that Sylvia Plath. Plath fans and parents of young children will be puzzled and pleased with her 1976 book-length poem for children. The work, first written for her own children, describes a series of fanciful beds (jet-propelled beds, elephantine, pocket-sized, and more).
The Winning Hand by Nora Roberts
Promise Me Tomorrow by Nora Roberts
Famously prolific romance novelist Nora Roberts has two books in the 2006 Report. In The Winning Hand, a former librarian leaves her fiancé in Kansas, and stumbles into Las Vegas carrying her life savings of $9.37. To her surprise (and ours), she promptly wins millions at a slot machine. Her life changes dramatically, all the more so when the owner of the casino takes her under his wing. Roberts' rare 1984 novel Promise Me Tomorrow follows an ambitious architect attracted to a senior employee at her new high-profile firm. Rebuffed, she heads to Paris to work on special projects (personal and professional), but she finds herself in a new position after things go horribly wrong in France. Can she break down his fear of commitment?

Top 10 Lists

Arts and Music
Painting, photography, dance, music, etc.; Architecture and design; Books about art and artistic movements; museum and auction catalogs
1 Madonna Sex
2 Glen Cleeton General Printing
3 Hendrik Van Loon The Arts
4 Andrew Loomis Creative Illustration
5 Ralph W. Polk The Practice of Printing
6 Larry Clark Teenage Lust
7 Rien Poortvliet Dogs
8 Rockwell Kent World Famous Paintings
9 Henri Cartier-Bresson The Decisive Moment
10 Henry Hensche The Art of Seeing and Painting
Includes autobiography and memoirs, as well as biographies of athletes, politicians, artists, writers, etc.
1 Johnny Cash Man in Black: His Own Story in His Own Words
2 Daniel Bragg Clayton Forty-Seven Years in the Universalist Ministry
3 Jack McCullum Unfinished Business : On and off the Court with the 1990-91 Boston Celtics
4 Charles M. Russell Good Medicine: Memories of the Real West
5 Eugene Curtis Saint-Just, Colleague of Robespierre
6 Norman Mailer Marilyn, a Biography
7 T. E. Lawrence The Mint
8 Bobby Fischer My 60 Memorable Games
9 Robert Lee Scott, Jr. God is My Co-Pilot
10 Paul Hoffman and Ira Pecznick To Drop a Dime: The Mafia Hit Man's Uncensored Story
Fiction and nonfiction; young adult, fairy tales, poetry; picture books
1 Robb White The Lion's Paw
2 Roald Dahl The Gremlins
3 Sharon Kane Little Mommy
4 Anne Alexander The Pink Dress
5 Nan Gilbert 365 Bedtime Stories: A Story for Every Day of the Year about the Children on What-a-Jolly Street
6 Sylvia Plath The Bed Book
7 Dean Marshall Wish on the Moon
8 Tasha Tudor Becky's Christmas
9 Edna Miller Mousekin's Golden House
10 Anna Elizabeth Bennett Little Witch
Crafts and Hobbies
Cooking, gardening, collecting, pets, how-to books, etc.
1 June Hemmons Hiatt The Principles of Knitting
2 Alice Starmore Aran Knitting
3 Ricky Jay Cards as Weapons
4 Judith Copeland Modular Crochet
5 Jack Howell The Lovely Reed: An Enthusiast's Guide to Building Bamboo Fly Rods
6 Susanna Lewis Knitting Lace: A Workshop with Patterns and Projects
7 Clementine Paddleford How America Eats
8 Mary and Vincent Price A Treasury of Great Recipes: Famous Specialties of the World's Foremost Restaurants Adapted for the American Kitchen
9 Ann Seranne, ed.  America Cooks: The General Federation of Women's Clubs Cookbook
10 Ruth Berolzheimer The American Woman's Cook Book
Fiction and Literature
Current and classic titles, literary nonfiction, criticism, essays
1 Lynne Cheney Sisters
2 Taylor Caldwell Dear and Glorious Physician
3 Nora Roberts Promise Me Tomorrow
4 Cameron Crowe Fast Times at Ridgemont High
5 George Elford Devil's Guard
6 Suzanne Brockmann Get Lucky
7 Gore Vidal Myra Breckinridge
8 Margaret Gibson The Butterfly Ward
9 Nora Roberts The Winning Hand
10 Sinclair Lewis Cass Timberlane
US and international; from ancient to modern
1 Fletcher Pratt, ed. Civil War in Pictures
2 William Manchester The Death of a President, November 20-November 25, 1963
3 Tate Cromwell Page Voices of Moccasin Creek
4 Charles Townshend The British Campaign in Ireland, 1919-1921
5 Viktor Suvorov Icebreaker: Who Started the Second World War?
6 R.P. Hunnicutt Sherman: A History of the American Medium Tank
7 William Camden Britannia
8 Chris Dunning Courage Alone: The Italian Airforce 1940-1943
9 Elsie Johnson Ayres The Hills of Highland
10 Jules Archer The Plot to Seize the White House
Mysteries and Thrillers
Thrillers, whodunits, classics as well as modern titles; popular detectives and spies; "noir" and "true crime"
1 Ben Ames Williams Leave Her to Heaven
2 Ellery Queen Calamity Town
3 David Ellsworth Smith County Justice
4 Mark Dawidziak The Kolchak Papers: Grave Secrets
5 Rex Stout Too Many Women
6 Frances Parkinson Keyes Dinner at Antoine's
7 Stephan P. Clarke The Lord Peter Wimsey Companion
8 Michael Gilbert Smallbone Deceased
9 Margaret Frazer The Outlaw's Tale
10 Anthony Bruno The Iceman: The True Story of a Cold-Blooded Killer
Popular Science & Technology
Scientific titles directed at a general audience, cars, personal finance, health, computers and internet
1 Steve Belichick Football Scouting Methods
2 Robert G. Middleton 101 Ways to Use Your Ham Test Equipment
3 James Dines How the Average Investor Can Use Technical Analysis for Stock Profits
4 Immanuel Velikovsky Worlds in Collision
5 Henry Edwards Davis The American Wild Turkey
6 Carl Sagan Murmurs of Earth: The Voyager Interstellar Record
7 David Marr Vision: A Computational Investigation into the Human Representation and Processing of Visual Information
8 H.G. Wells The Science of Life
9 David Attenborough Discovering Life on Earth: a Natural History
10 Donald A. Mackay The Building of Manhattan
Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror
Includes ghosts, aliens, science fiction, romance, high tech; reference and criticism
1 Stephen King (as Richard Bachman) Rage
2 Sherrilyn Kenyon Born of the Night
3 Ray Bradbury Dark Carnival
4 Peter David Babylon 5 : Out of the Darkness
5 Martha Wells Element of Fire
6 Dara Joy That Familiar Touch
7 Ira Levin This Perfect Day
8 J.R.R. Tolkien The Adventures of Tom Bombadil
9 J.R.R. Tolkien Tree and Leaf
10 Del James Language of Fear
Society and Culture
Travel, entertainment, current events, politics and social movements
1 James Mangan The Secret of Perfect Living
2 Richard Bandler and John Grinder Frogs into Princes: Neuro Linguistic Programming
3 George Kingsley Zipf Human Behavior and the Principle of Least Effort
4 John R. Swanton Contributions to the Ethnology of the Haida
5 A. C. Haddon The Decorative Art of British New Guinea : A Study in Papuan Ethnography
6 Peter Beard The End of the Game: The Last Word from Paradise
7 Dorothea Brande Wake up and Live!
8 Gontran De Poncins Kabloona
9 Lucas E. Bridges Uttermost Part of the Earth: Indians of Tierra del Fuego
10 John Kerry The New Soldier