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When it comes to boys and reading, there are several myths and misunderstandings surrounding their habits. These myths perpetrate the belief that boys, and teen boys especially, don’t read. And if they do, they won’t read fiction.

 

Curious to see whether this is also true of boys who have grown up reading and enjoying novels, I asked my friend whose sons recently turned 11 and 14 if she has noticed a difference in the reading habits of her kids as they’ve gotten older. Her younger son still enjoys reading, and is open to reading a variety of titles. Her teenager, who not so long ago was deep into Harry Potter now says “UGHHH” very loudly when she suggests that he put down his device and read a book.

 

Why don’t boys read novels you may ask? Well, according to Jon Scieszka, popular author and founder of Guysread, one reason that boys stop reading is because they lack a male role model for literacy. Research suggests that while men often come back to reading as they approach retirement age, boys mostly see women reading and therefore do not see it as a male activity.

 

a box set collection of Judy Blume novelsWhen my brother was a kid, he enjoyed the popular “boy” books such as the Fudge books by Judy Blume, How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell, Encyclopedia Brown by Donald Sobol, etc…By the time he was a pre-teen, he was hardly reading at all. And in university, he asked me if I had Coles Notes for the required reading in his English class just to avoid reading the book. My dad is a reader now, but when my brother and I were little, he was building his career, and I doubt if we saw him just sitting down and reading. My mom had the luxury of staying home, and had a lot more time to read for pleasure.

 

The most common assumption is that girls read fiction and boys read non-fiction. For girls, reading is a pleasurable activity, whereas for boys, it’s merely a means to finding out something they want to know. This belief is certainly common in the publishing world, and of the 600 or so unique YA novels published each year, an overwhelming majority seem aimed at girls (statistics on this vary so take this as a baseline). According to a study of all books reviewed by Horn Book Magazine in 2014, the protagonists of middle grade novels were 48% boys, 36% girls, and 16% both, while in YA, 65% were female, 22% male, and 13% both.

 

Economically, this makes sense. Publishing is a business, and the job of a publisher is to produce books that meet the demand of the market. If there is little demand for boy-oriented YA fiction, they aren’t going to spend their limited dollars trying to meet a demand that isn’t there. That also means that the so-called boy books receive little to no marketing dollars, so even though they exist, it’s a lot harder to find them.

 

Now we’ve got a chicken/egg question. Do boys stop reading because of the perception that YA fiction is for girls, or is YA fiction aimed at girls because teen boys don’t read fiction? If you assume that boys won’t read and cater primarily to girls, boys naturally assume that there is nothing for them and focus their attention on other activities.  On the other hand, if you give them something that will engage them, they will be more likely to read.

 

So what will engage a boy? A thrilling story with a lot of action is a big one, and is a lot more important than the gender of the protagonist. Hunger Games is a perfect example of a female-centered book that boys have enjoyed, largely because the story has enough action and excitement to keep male readers engaged, and it doesn’t look like a girl book. I don’t know too many boys who are interested in reading about mean girls and love triangles, and I definitely don’t know many who will willingly pick up a book with a feminine cover. They also like stories about real boys experiencing real things, because boys want characters they can relate to as much as girls do.

 

the delusionist by don calame / a street magician juggling a ball and holding playing cards, against a blue fieldOne author who definitely understands the teenage boy psyche is British Columbian author Don Calame, whose four previous books have been big hits with reluctant readers. When I described the plot of Swim the Fly to my partner, he blanched, and literally asked me “how did he know?” As far as I’m aware they have no direct (or indirect) connection, but he was positive that Calame had somehow heard about his teenage exploits and put them into a novel.

 

His new novel The Delusionist focuses on two best friends, and their individual quests to find the perfect magic trick to get them into a summer magic academy for teens. As the story progresses, they find their friendship tested by a crafty female magician, the pressure of competing against each other, and the desire to be seen as individuals and not one half of a duo. It’s funny, it’s real, and I can think of several boys between 11 and 15 who will enjoy it.

 

the loop by ben oliver / the word loop with each letter a floor plan of a building.If your teens are into action, Ben Oliver’s Loop Trilogy is an exciting, action-packed dystopian horror series that will appeal to fans of Maze Runner. The story focuses on 16-year-old Luca Kane, who is an inmate inside a futuristic death-row prison for teens. When the teens suddenly find themselves left alone in the prison, Luca will have to overcome fellow prisoners who want to kill him, rabid rats in the train tunnels, and an outside population turned into murderous monsters if he wants to survive. Book 2 released last year, and while there’s no official word on book 3 yet, we can hope that it won’t be too long a wait to see how the series ends.

 

These are just a couple of suggestions, but there are many books out there with teen boy appeal. You just have to be willing to find them. 

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, our YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu. We also encourage you to subscribe to the LSC Weekly Update, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

 

Happy Reading!

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Everybody loves a good mystery, and from the moment I started reading chapter books, I had mysteries on my shelf. I had tons of collections of mini-mysteries (the ones where the solution was written in backwards writing that you held up to a mirror), and I loved solving puzzles alongside my favourite kid sleuths.

 

Anyone who enjoys reading mysteries can appreciate that sense of satisfaction when you have your ‘AHAH!’ moment and figure everything out, and I think that somehow it’s even more satisfying when you’re a kid. As the popular mystery writer Stuart Gibbs speculates, mysteries appeal because the smartest person (usually the good guys) wins, and they are just ordinary people without super powers or any extraordinary gift except for intellect. I’d also suggest that solving mysteries give kids a sense of power in a world where they often feel helpless and powerless.

 

While some of the books I enjoyed as a kid are now considered non-PC (Enid Blyton I’m looking at you), I’m amazed at how many of the series I followed as a kid are still in print and popular, and am constantly blown away by how rich a genre it is.

 

waiting game cover / an overhead picture of a chess boardI remember my brother and I both enjoying Donald Sobel’s Encyclopedia Brown. I loved Harriet the Spy, Liza, Bill and Jed (a series by Amelia Bedelia author Peggy Parish about sleuthing twins and their younger brother), and of course Ellen Raskin’s Newbery Award-winning novel The Westing Game which is still considered the gold standard of juvenile mysteries today.

 

When you think of famous kidlit detectives, Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys are probably the first to jump to mind. They’ve been popular for nearly a century, and they are among the few children’s book series that I can say both my parents and I read and enjoyed. In fact, my mom still has her collection of Nancy Drew books from when she was a kid, and despite my having outgrown the books years ago and not having kids of my own, she’s been reluctant to let them go.

 

I liked Nancy and read the books faithfully when I was younger, along with Trixie Belden (who I thought was a lot more interesting), but it was another kid detective who stole my heart. I loved and still love Nate the Great. 

 

Nate first appeared in print in 1972. The series was one of the first chapter book series published by Putnam, and despite original author Marjorie Weinman Sharmat’s passing in 2019, they continue to be published today.

 

So who is Nate the Great? If you’ve never read the series, he’s a 9-year-old kid detective (think a mini Sam Spade) who solves "cases" in his neighbourhood along with his dog sludge. Nate wears his trademark trench coat and Sherlock Holmes-style hat, and loves (and I mean LOVES) pancakes which he accepts as payment for solving the mysteries.

 

Along with Nate, the books also introduce an interesting cast of supporting characters. There’s Annie, an African-American girl who is one of Nate’s best friends and her dog Fang, Rosamond, a very goth-looking girl who is always described as “strange," (remember this is a 9-year-old boy POV) owns four cats, and is crushing on Nate, the wise Esmerelda, and his sometimes adversaries Finley and Pip. I always had a soft spot for Rosamond, but they’re all interesting and likeable characters.

 

So what is it about Nate that has allowed him to endure for almost 50 years? Firstly, the humour. They are genuinely clever and witty stories, and at the time, books like these were something pretty rare for the age group. I remember most of the books I read as a child, and I can’t think of anything else that was comparable to these when I was 6 or 7 and moving away from picture books and readers.  While the category has greatly expanded since then, these are still stand out for me.

 

I also loved Nate’s autonomy. It seems like all he ever had to do was leave a note for his mother telling her that he was on a case, and that was perfectly fine. In Nate the Great Goes Undercover, Nate goes on an overnight stakeout to figure out who or what is going through his neighbour Oliver’s trashcan. In fact, Nate was so dedicated to solving the case that he even crawled inside the trash can. You really have to appreciate Nate’s dedication. He’ll work a case until he solves it, only briefly stopping for pancakes to help him keep up his strength.

 

Another of Nate’s characteristics that kids find so appealing is his blunt, deadpan delivery. In the first sentence of the first book, Nate introduces himself with the line““My name is Nate the Great. I am a detective. I work alone.” He may not intend to be funny, but he truly is, and adults will appreciate the tone as much as kids do.

 

nate the great cover / three students in a hallway following the trail of a muddy robot

The humour is especially prevalent in Nate the Great and the Mushy Valentine where Nate has to figure out who left his dog a secret valentine. This is a problem because Nate really hates mushy stuff, and he makes it quite clear that he does not want to be anybody’s valentine. Thinking that Rosamond gave him a valentine, he decides to hang out in the dog house with Sludge until the valentine blows away  just to avoid having to claim it.

 

In Spring 2021, Nate returned with an all new adventure where he solves the case of the missing Earth Day robot, and it was just as funny and smart as the previous titles.

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, our YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu. We also encourage you to subscribe to the LSC Weekly Update, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

 

Happy Reading!

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Today is Indigenous Veterans Day. Thursday is Remembrance Day. While we do not close for these dates, we do take a moment to reflect and to remember on the brave and valorous individuals who have fought and sacrificed, across history and the world. May they never be forgotten.

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A TV adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire was never a sure thing. While Martin stated in an interview that thanks to his television experience he could envision the lighting and blocking in his head when he was writing a scene, adapting a fantasy franchise to film or television can be risky, and while he’d received some expressions of interest from producers, nobody seemed quite sure of what they wanted to do with it. That is until novelists/screenwriters David Benioff and DB Weiss approached Martin and correctly answered a challenging trivia question from the book. Even then, there were still no guarantees that it would ever see a screen.

 

game of thrones by george rr martin / the hilt of a sword against a blue fieldHBO, the network that eventually aired the adaptation wasn’t sure if a fantasy series would fit with their typical fair of prestige drama, and although the books had a following, they weren’t sure if anybody would watch it. The Peter Jackson film adaptations of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings  proved that it could work as films, but would the same principle work on television?

 

Fast forward 10 years later, to 2011. By then HBO had signed on, and the pilot had been shot and re-shot, and something else occurred that led HBO to believe that they had made the right choice - the passion of Martin’s online fandom. Fans of the series loved to talk about every little detail of the books in online forums, and the network was smart enough to market the show directly to those fans in their space.

 

One year later, Vulture Magazine declared the series fan base one of the most devoted fan bases of all time, and by 2013, the books and the show could boast 5.5 million registered fans on social media from all around the world. The show ran for 8 seasons, and while there have been other adaptations of popular fantasy series, such as Outlander and The Witcher, no other epic fantasy series has been able to match the success or popularity that GoT experienced. Even HBO has faulted in trying to repeat their success, having announced multiple Game of Thrones spin-offs only to most of them fall apart before production. 

 

Amazon Prime is hoping to catch lightning in their streaming bottle again, not once but twice. In 2017, they bought the rights to the remainder to the Tolkien estate, and commissioned what was then called a Lord of the Rings TV series. It is now know that the series will be set in the Second Age of Middle Earth, before the One Ring was forged, before wizards roamed the wilds, and when Hobbits were just starting to peak out of their hills. Peter Jackson is not involved. Written by J. D. Payne and Patrick McKay, whose credits include Star Trek Beyond, Godzilla vs King Kong, and Jungle Cruise, Amazon will be bringing the New Zealand-shot, billion dollar series to the platform in September of 2022. 

 

eye of the world by robert jordan / a cloaked figure stands between two pillars, before a sunrise, with a large stone clock floating above themMiddle Earth though is well known to audiences. Less well known to the general population is Amazon Prime's next venture: a highly anticipated forthcoming adaptation of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. If you aren’t familiar with it, Wheel of Time is a high fantasy series that spans 14 books, plus a prequel and a couple of companion novels. The first book was published in January 1990, and the final three books were completed by fantasy author Brandon Sanderson after Jordan’s death in 2007. Luckily, the author had enough time to prepare detailed notes about how he wanted it finished, and there ended up being enough material for 3 more books instead of one.

 

Unlike Game of Thrones which draws inspiration from European history and politics, Wheel of Time was inspired more by European and Asian mythology - a "wheel of time" as a concept is present in Hinduism, Sikhism, and Buddhism. The books have sold more than 90 million copies worldwide, making it one of the most popular fantasy series of all time. Since each paperback averages 800+ pages and is far too complex to explain in any detail, I’ll try giving you the Coles Notes version of the series.

 

The core premise is that the story has happened over and over again. The wheel of time turns, ages pass, memories become legend, and legend becomes myth, and eventually the myth is forgotten when a new age dawns. An easter egg in both the books and TV show of Game of Thrones referenced an Archmaester who believed that history is a wheel, Martin's friendly tribute to his friend and fellow writer. Martin also included in his genealogies a "Trebor Jordayne, Lord of Tor", referencing both the author and his publisher, Tor Books. 

 

Like so much fantasy, the series is incredibly lore-dense. Much like Game of Thrones, the world is not officially named in the books, but fans like to call it Randland after the hero of the series, Rand al'Thor. There are though 14 nations in this world, so it’s good to have a map handy to keep track. In total, the books actually contain 100,000 characters, and fans recommend using the glossary at the back to keep track of who everybody is.

 

wheel of time companion by robert jordan and harriet mcdougal / three interlinked circled, two of gold and one of stone, against a black field

Because of the repetition inherent to the series, there are a lot of prophecies in this series, the most important of which are the "Prophecies of the Dragon".  The Dragon Reborn will be the champion of the Light in the battle against the Dark One - isn't that always the way? - and Rand al’Thor is prophesied to be that guy. Much like the Sword of Truth series by Terry Goodkind, Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, and most "Chosen One" narratives, Rand has grown up as a shepherd in a village and has very little knowledge about his destiny.

 

The first season of the TV show will reportedly air 8 episodes, but whether the entire season focuses on one book or a few books hasn’t been confirmed. As we all know, adapting fantasy, especially one that’s as intricate and complex as this one is a challenge, and it would be unreasonable to expect that it will be word-for-word faithful to the source material.

 

Regardless of which plot elements and characters make it into the TV show, one thing that is guaranteed is that Wheel of Time will be visually stunning, full of action, magic, and contains strong male and female characters. Whether or not it will reach the levels of popularity that Game of Thrones did remains to be seen, but judging by the advance buzz, it certainly has a chance. It premieres on November 22nd, 2021.

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, our YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu. We also encourage you to subscribe to the LSC Weekly Update, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

 

Happy Reading!

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As a parent I prepared by reading all of the books. I still do not have all of the answers, but I know how I want to handle the big stuff. Having two primary aged children, it never dawned on me that one day I would have to answer some really tough questions about death in the middle of a global pandemic. During a time where the world was experiencing greater distance and isolation, my family experienced a number of losses. Not knowing what to do, since the person I always went to for advice was gone, I reached for books. 

 

tears by Sibylle Delacroix / a black and white drawing of a young girl from the nose up, crying, against a teal background.When I needed a way to explain why mommy was crying, reading Tears by Sibylle Delacroix with my children was a great way to normalize and talk about tears. It was amazing to see my children grasp how it is okay to process our emotions through tears. They were able to connect the dots by saying, “Mommy, are your tears coming out because you miss Grandma?” This enabled me to be open about my sadness and show how expressing your feelings when someone passes away is a good thing, even if it’s a sad thing.

 

when grandfather flew by patricia maclachlin and chris sheban / a chalk drawing of three young children standing in a field, with a tent behind them, looking up into the skyTo help my children draw their own conclusions about life after death, books were that inspiration and support I needed. I loved the beautiful connection made in When Grandfather Flew by Patricia MacLachlin and Chris Sheban, where Milo imagines his Grandfather as a Bald Eagle. It reminds me of when I was four years old and my grandfather said he wanted to be a cat basking in the sun all day.  After a long battle with cancer, my grandfather passed. Later, my grandma adopted a cat and I loved imagining that my grandpa was that cat basking in the sun.  My children love to imagine Grandma is playing fetch with our dog, Buddy.

 

old pearl by wendy wehman / a water colour drawing of a yellow chickThe loss of a pet has a profound impact on young children as well. I really enjoyed reading Old Pearl by Wendy Wahman, where you could see the bond between Theo and Pearl grow until they had to say goodbye. Recently, I have had fellow parents reach out after suffering the loss of a loved one asking, “How do I explain this to my child when I can barely cope myself?”  I always recommend a good book. When you do not have the words, books are always there to start that dialogue. There are a few upcoming titles that also explore these issues, including The Sour Cherry Tree by Naseem Hrab, releasing in Oct 2021; and If You Miss Me by Jocelyn Li Langrand, releasing in Dec 2021.

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, our YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu. We also encourage you to subscribe to the LSC Weekly Update, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

 

Stay tuned and be kind!

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In light of the many industry-wide supply chain issues impacting publishing and libraries, both LSC and the publishers are advocating for early ordering as much as possible. We thought it made sense to give a bit of space to why early ordering is important, and how LSC's catalogue and ARPs make it easy.

 

Early Ordering refers to ordering books before they are published. LSC considers anything ordered more than three weeks before publication an Early Order. Once we know an item will be published, sometimes up to 18 months in advance, it is available to order. This includes DVDs, which are available to order the day the movie is released in theaters.

 

For many collections, a fair amount of the materials your patrons will want won’t depend on what they are about, but who they are by. As an example: we know that James Patterson will release many new books this year. Often the items will be known by a placeholder title, like James Patterson Chef Detective #5. This item will go into our ordering catalogue, at which point you can pre-order it straight away, and get that On-Order MARC into your system and generating holds. If you have an ARP, the Selectors will be aware of the item and might order it for your account immediately, depending on the instructions in your ARP profile. 

 

A few months before publication, the publisher officially updates the title to James Patterson’s Five Star Murder. We update the title information in the record, and include the item in selection lists, catalogues, etc. which are available digitally via Issuu and within the ordering catalogue. For Best and Solid Seller titles, these will be listed in our Notables catalogues, which list all the items that will be published in the coming quarter, not the previous. Meaning, anything ordered from these lists when they are released will be an Early Order.

 

Part of the process of ordering books from vendors is shipping time from the publisher. This is because library vendors, unlike commercial vendors, do not keep a standing inventory of items in house. Items post-publication are shipped to us as they are ordered. This adds time to when a library will receive an item. If everyone orders James Patterson’s Five Star Murder in advance, we know that we need to bring in x number of copies straight away. With the industry delays affecting shipping times, both from manufacturing centers overseas, and from distribution centers once they have arrived, publishers are already seeing delays by weeks or months past the initial street date, and are warning buyers that reprints will be effectively non-existent for the next while. Meaning, once the original print run is gone, it's gone. They have said that they will increase initial print runs based on pre-orders.

 

Normally, LSC would receive pre-pub items a few weeks before the street date. Our cataloguers and processors then set to work on the copies that need such things (taking a couple days for priority items), and the item moves to shipping, where it awaits each library's shipping day, to arrive before street date. If you wait to order the book until the date you could also buy it at Chapters or Costco, we have to wait for the item to come from publisher, then also go through our processes. Time that was saved by other libraries pre-ordering the item.

 

In the midst of these delays, we receive items when the publisher is able to get them to us. We push the items through our internal processes at the same rate as before (due to our internal efficiencies, we're largely moving as fast as we can already). And the items arrive at the library with their next shipment. As of the date of this publication, publisher's haven't officially moved any pub dates, which means the majority of items won't be meeting street date. This is a reality for everyone. If publisher's start moving street dates, we'll keep you updated via our Weekly Newsletter

 

Delays or not, by taking advantage of early ordering, you guarantee your number of copies for your patrons, and save yourself weeks or months of additional delays, or worse, the announcement that the title has already gone out of print.

 

Finding items available for early ordering is easy. Aside from the ones listed in the Bestseller Catalogues, you can search for items via the Advanced Search Screen within the catalogue. Searching Author is the best way to find materials pre-publication, then limit your search via "publication date" to either “Next 30 Days”, “Next 90 days”, or choose a date range in the future. Ordering is otherwise normal. Additionally, our Selection Lists allow you to access specific content relevant to you and order directly from the list.

 

Unique to LSC is our Budget Management system, which allows you to identify your annual budget by collection type, track what you’ve spent and are committed to spend within the calendar year. The remainder that you are committed to within this report would fall into a future budget, and therefore if you are doing early ordering well in advance, you are able to simply and accurately track that budget. And you’ll always know exactly how much you have left to spend.

 

LSC's Selectors are here to help with any Ordering assistance they can provide. All our Selection Services come without charge. You don't have to be on an ARP to have our Selector build your library lists or even carts. They are also happy to work with you to identify specific authors that are high interest that you should keep a regular eye out for. And those libraries that are on ARP, if you want to change any instructions in your profile to promote early ordering, you can do so at any time. Please contact Jamie Quinn for all your Selection assistance.

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, our YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu. We also encourage you to subscribe to the LSC Weekly Update, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

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Thanksgiving likely looks a lot different than usual this year. Reagrdless, take the day to be thankful that we've gotten this far, and be hopeful that things will get better from here. LSC will be doing so, but back at it all the more Tuesday morning. Happy turkey day, everyone! Gobble-gobble.

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When I was a kid, I loved Choose Your Own Adventure books. I loved being able to shape my story with my choices, and I confess to cheating a little by flipping ahead to see if the choice I made would result in my death or the end of the story.

 

As an adult, I realize how much life is like a Choose Your Own Adventure. There are multiple points in life where we are faced with an uncertain or difficult choice. Perhaps one of those choices leads you to the exciting life you always dreamt of. Another choice leaves you alone and sad. Which choice will give you your happy ending? Unlike books, you can’t hold the page while you flip ahead and see which choice is better, so you go with what you think is the best choice at the time and hope for the best. But what if you could “flash forward” so to speak? Would making different choices drastically change the future, or is the future fixed?

 

This is the question that Oona, the titular character in the novel Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore grapples with. When readers meet Oona,  it’s 1982, she’s celebrating New Year’s Eve and her birthday (at midnight, she’ll turn 19) with her boyfriend and friends. Oona is also faced with a choice. Put off University and go on tour with her band or stay behind in London and finish school.

 

When the clock strikes midnight, something strange happens. Oona passes out and wakes up as her 50 something self. Luckily, her confidant Kenzie (who she hasn’t met yet at 18) and her mom know exactly what’s going on and are there to help her navigate this strange new reality. Equally fortunate is that her future self was considerate enough to write her a note of explanation giving her just enough information about her life to catch her up.

 

As the title suggests, Oona is somehow living her life out of order. Every year at midnight she leaps into her life at a different point in time and lives that life for exactly one year before leaping again. The catch is that  not only does Oona have no idea what year she’ll leap into next, but for the most part, it’s out of sequence. She also doesn’t know if she’ll ever get back to her own time and have the chance to live her life properly. She has to rely on the previous year’s Oona leaving her a catch-up letter, and some years are more helpful than others.

 

In this life, Oona is alone, and not a rock star, but thanks to some careful financial decisions informed by information about stocks and sports scores that she picked up in the future, she’s extremely wealthy. Ignoring the warning issued by early Oona not to spend too much time investigating the past, she promptly asks Kenzie to help her look up all of her friends on the Internet and figure out what happened to each of them and why they are no longer in her life.

 

Each chapter chronicles one year in Oona’s life, and readers follow along as she lives multiple lives, and experiences moments of pain and joy as she tries to hold onto human connections even knowing that she’ll be gone from that life in a year.

 

After one particularly painful year of disappointment and heartbreak, Oona wakes up to find herself exactly one year earlier, and in the year that caused her so much pain the previous (next) year. Like most people probably would in her circumstances, she wonders if she can change her future and spare her future self. Despite her efforts to make completely different choices and shake things up, she’s unable to change things, leading her to wonder if the future is fixed.

 

This is an interesting question, and one I’m still pondering. Most time travel stories adopt the theory that by changing the past we can change the future. Life is full of significant moments we would love to change if we could. What if instead of turning to page 23 in our Choose Your Own Adventure story we turn to page 55? Sometimes it takes your story in a different direction, but sometimes, all the choices end up leading to the same place.

 

Oona doesn’t try to change any history but her own and so we’ll never know if she could have significantly changed the course of the world, but still, her experiences suggest that our destiny is pre-written and while we may take different paths to get there, all roads lead to the same place.

 

While Oona is never able to make any significant changes to how her life turns out, she does learn to live in the now, and not to keep her finger on the page while she tries to figure out if making a different choice would change the outcome of her future.

 

If you’re looking for a fun and thoughtful read for your next book club, don’t keep your finger on the page while you try to figure out what choice is best. Just pick this one up and enjoy the ride, and I hope you’ll get as much out of it as I did.

 

To keep up to date with all of LSC’s latest offerings, please follow LSC on Facebook, on Instagram, on Twitter, our YouTube Channel, and now on Issuu. We also encourage you to subscribe to the LSC Weekly Update, and we hope you check back each and every week on this site for our latest musings on the publishing world.

 

Happy Reading!

 

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Sept 30th is the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. LSC is open, however, we recommend you refer to the resources for settlers we posted back in June, whether you have the day off or not. Take the day to reflect, learn, and improve. 

 

 

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The publishing industry is currently being affected by large-scale delays. These delays are the result of many different pressures on the supply chain, including shortages of truck drivers and trailers, congestion at the ports, escalating transportation costs, paper shortages, and more. This has resulted in titles across all collections types having unforeseen delays. 

 

LSC is taking the following steps to remain knowledgeable and proactive in response to these delays:

  • We have increased staffing to ensure that when items do arrive at LSC, they experience no additional delays moving through our processes and in getting to you.
  • Our Selection team has ramped up ordering beyond our normal peak and end-of-year volumes, to ensure as best we can that budgets are met by year-end.
  • We are prioritizing the release of A-list/highly visible bestseller titles as best we can.
  • We are in constant communication with our suppliers and publishing partners to have the most up-to-date information about when items are expected, when items will have known delays, and when Best Sellers have their pub dates pushed. When we know, you'll know.

As the talking point has warned us, there is a “new normal” affecting every industry, and the publishing world is no different. As this article from Publisher’s Weekly highlights, the problem has no single source, and as such no easy solution. Part of this is driven by the Great Resignation, which - in America - at least 4 million people have quit their jobs in this past spring. This combined with already high levels of unemployment and a recession in the US have caused ripple affects across multiple sectors, where there simply isn’t enough employees to carry out the amount of work needed in certain areas. Major commercial shippers are cutting their capacity by 25% or more because they can’t find qualified drivers.

 

Add to this a global shipping congestion. You’ll no doubt remember earlier this year when the Ever Given was stuck in the Suez Canal for the better part of five months. This caused significant delays to the global shipping industry. Add to this, continued closures at primary Chinese ports, from which a huge majority of products – including paper and books – ships out of. For decades, industry has shifted production and manufacturing to China due to low costs, and the global affect of that decision is a bottleneck for a considerable amount of product.  When supply is low, demand is high, and prices rise. With spots on the ships that are getting out at a premium, costs for those spots have quintupled. And the cost of the materials being shipped, like wood for paper pulp, have tripled. This isn’t just affecting the publishing industry – no doubt you’ll have noticed that coffee is getting more expensive, as is gas, toilet paper, and chocolate. 

 

Last year, the industry was impacted with printing capacity issues, and these continue, adding another layer of delay. Industry experts expect gift books, box sets, art books, cookbooks, and coffee table books to be the most effected - anything with high gloss and lots of colour pictures. They are also forecasting long delays for reprints, especially on high interest materials. The advice is, pre-order in advance. While the fall titles are already on ships, transports, and in some warehouses, these effects will linger well into 2022. Those analyzing the situation also have no optimism to report, and expect that things will continue in this way for the next 18-24 months. Moreover, as life experience teaches us, when the cost of things goes up it rarely comes back down.

 

As for what LSC is doing in the face of all this is paying attention and being proactive. For ARP accounts, we regularly order bestseller titles as soon as we know they exist, anywhere between 6 months to a year and half in advance. For those libraries doing their own ordering, we recommend ordering well in advance. If you normally wait to within a couple weeks of release, don't. Order as soon as you can. Our Selectors are happy to build lists, carts, or help your selectors in whatever way they can, you need only ask for help. Additionally, order from our best seller catalogues as soon as they are released. The Spring Notables for Adult and Juv will be out in October, and the Winter catalogues can be found in the Selection List area on our catalogue or through Issuu. 

 

We are also talking with our suppliers regularly, and when we have definite information, we will pass it along. As of right now, official shelf dates for Fall Best Sellers have not moved. Despite this, we know that many of those titles will have some unofficial delays. Every publisher is affected, and affected differently. It is our commitment to you that when we have information, when we know how this will impact your budgets and collections, and your patrons, we will let you know with as much notice as we receive ourselves.

 

We’re all in this together. And we will get through this, together.

 

UPDATE OCTOBER 5th:

Publisher's Weekly hosted a webinar on Oct 5th, with leading US industry experts to discuss the situation. While much of the information remains unchanged from above, additional details were shared.

 

Across the industry, production has moved oversees due to 40% savings when things are working well. During COVID though, there has been an increase in demand (for instance, a 12% growth in adult fiction - the highest since 2008) complicated by existing issues and new problems. Before the pandemic, there was already a steady increase in the cost of wood pulp (which is currently higher than a previous peak in 2014), and a significant loss in skilled workers in the printing industry. Approx. 1.2 million workers in the US have been lost to retirement alone. Paper mills and printing presses have been closing in record numbers over the past five years. The labour cost to bring on new staff is steep, and many companies are easier going out of business or choosing to close.

 

Getting items from oversees to the publishers have seen shipping times increase from 3 weeks to over two months, with bottlenecks at both ends (in addition to COVID, there are also apparently fires in China forcing ports to close. On the other side of the Pacific, the Port of Los Angeles has over 70 ships waiting at sea to dock and unpack, compared to a usual one). Once items do arrive, they are subject to the previously mentioned delivery shortages. FedEx has introduced caps and increased their pricing, and Canada Post has noted that package deliveries will have delays as we head into the Christmas delivery season. The experts suggested that long haul shipping will see driver shortages be common for the next six years.

 

These longer lead times have started to impact publication dates. For now, many publishers are pushing titles back by weeks (see below for a current list of know delays). They are trying their best not to postpone or push titles into new publishing seasons, especially for A-list titles with lots of marketing. However, that could be a possibility in the coming publishing seasons. They are advising, as we are, that you pre-order items in advance so that they can up initial print runs based on demand, as reprints are basically impossible for the time being. 


Our publishing partners have alerted us of some known delays to specific titles based on the Industry Delays affecting us all. The following titles have had their publication dates pushed back. In this case, these titles have all been delayed due to printing capacity issues.

 

Old Pub Date Expected New Pub Date Title ISBN
10/12/21 11/02/21
Surrounded by Setbacks
9781250789518

11/02/21

11/09/21

First Christmas, The

9781250790699
11/02/21 11/09/21
(Very) Short History of Life on Earth, A
9781250276650
11/02/21 11/09/21
Watching Darkness Fall
9781250206961
10/26/21 11/16/21
Muhammad, the World-Changer
9781250239648

11/16/21

11/23/21

Deathwatch Beetle

9781250766168

11/16/21

11/23/21

American Kleptocracy

9781250274526

11/16/21

11/23/21

City of Time and Magic

9781250260697

11/16/21

11/23/21

Man of Honor, A

9781250187451
11/16/21 11/23/21
His Greatest Speeches
9781250763457
11/16/21 11/23/21
Any Way the Wind Blows
9781250845771

 

UPDATE OCTOBER 8th:

We have received word that Video Games are likely to be struck with some delays in all formats. The majority of video game software is routed through a small number of manufacturers in the US who are suffering from staffing shortages within their plants. These delays are then compounded by the delivery issues experienced by everyone. As a result, it is expected that last minute changes to title release dates, and late deliveries past street dates are expected as we enter the largest and busiest season for video games.

 

UPDATE OCTOBER 12th:

 

While Multilingual materials from all locations have been affected by the international shipping delays that everyhting else has, we have been alerted by our Japanese supplier that, due to the earthquake on the 7th, distributions centres in Japan are experiencing delays

 

UPDATE NOVEMBER 22nd:

As much of the world is aware at this point major highways connecting the city of Vancouver, B.C. and the Lower Mainland to the rest of inland Canada are currently closed, and rail traffic in and out of the Port of Vancouver is also closed.

 

UPDATE NOVEMBER 24th:

We have received the following news from Raincoast Books in Vancouver:

 

I’m happy to report that with highway 3 open for freight traffic, albeit at cautious speeds, our two main carriers report the beginning of eastbound trucking. They both have distribution facility backlogs, which include some of the shipments we gave them last week but both are making positive signals about clearing up the backlog.

 

Barring further shutdowns, they expect to be able to start picking up from us again by Thursday Nov 25.  You can expect to begin to receive the backlogged shipments from us from approx. Nov 24 + normal transit time to your area.  And then newer orders after that.  For those of you who don’t know, highway 3 is a windy mountain route that will add some transit time – perhaps a day or so - to any shipments coming your way from our facility.  The main highway, #5, will not be fixed for many months.

 

Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns to Jamie Quinn, Manager of Customer and Selection Services.

 

PDF versions of our catalogues are available on Issuu. 

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