From an interview with Dennis Loy Johnson, publisher of Melville House Books:
After 9/11, the best-selling books in America were all from independent and university presses, and they were books about Islam and spirituality and books about the twin towers and so on—people were searching for the kind of information the newspapers and television weren’t really covering. And they were buying these books in large numbers, and totally ignoring the entertainment tripe on offer from the big publishers. This is a story—a little remarked upon story—that says something really glorious about the American book buyer. And it’s in stark contrast to the accepted wisdom, which is that there is a diminishing audience for serious books….
…Despite the failure of the rest of America’s mainstream media, and despite this fact that this has become a virulently anti-intellectual culture—because of those things, in part—even here in Dumbfuckistan books have awesome super powers.