Bumper year for crisis-related books at Paris fair

Mon Mar 16, 2009 10:11am EDT
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By Estelle Shirbon

PARIS (Reuters) - Tip for aspiring writers: if it's about the economic crisis, it sells.

Publishers at the annual Paris book fair taking place this week said readers were queuing up for books explaining the credit crunch, proposing alternative economic models or just offering advice on how to live more cheaply.

"The crisis is good for at least one thing: sales of these kinds of books," said Jacques Mazel, of publisher Fayard, pointing to a shelf full of volumes about the economy.

Fayard has scored a hit with "La crise, et apres?" ("The crisis, then what?") by influential economist Jacques Attali, which has sold 150,000 copies sold since November.

Over at Albin Michel, staff reported strong interest in "Capitalisme et pulsion de mort" ("Capitalism and the death instinct") by Gilles Dostaler and Bernard Maris.

The book "examines the economic crisis through the double lens of John Maynard Keynes and Sigmund Freud," says the jacket.

In a different vein, "Le plaisir a petit prix" ("Pleasure for a small price"), a recipe book by Jean-Pierre Coffe which offers tips on how to feed your family well for less than 9 euros ($12) a day, was flying off the shelf at the Plon stand.

Stephane Billerey, commercial director at Plon, said the book had sold more than 300,000 copies in a month and a half.   Continued...

<p>Books are displayed on a stand during the installation of the annual Paris Book Fair March 12, 2009. The annual Paris Book Fair, with Mexico as a special guest, runs from March 13th to 18th. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer</p>