At lunch break I was browsing some bookstores near campus without much of an agenda. Like I mentioned yesterday, summer is just around the corner, with Memorial day weekend being a few days away. Bookstores are gearing up for summer reading sales, rolling out books that cater to every reader’s palate. Instead I found myself standing before table full of discounted books. They’re not the publisher returns or overstock. They are books, some even by bestselling authors, that were just hot off the press. I was stunned, and so disheartened that many of the books were unsold, unread, and virtually ignored by the public. It really hit home about the plunging sales and diminishing reading culture. I was delighted that I got The Darlings by Cristina Alger, An Unexpected Guest by Anne Korkeakivi and At Last by Edward St. Aubyn, all published within the last year, at heavily discount prices but sad at the same time that these books should be marked down so soon. I might be overly concerned, hoping that more people have switched to e-books. Honestly, I find a hardcover priced at $27 a bit steep despite the labor cost for manual binding. I hardly buy hardcover at full price. The cost of doing business seems to be forcing publishers to keep their prices exorbitant. But this seems to lead to a downward spiral since most people try to recoup money, and that leads them to the sale pile.