Sand Storm kindly provided me with a link to an article in the Canadian Globe and Mail, arguing that fiction sales are well down world wide.
Well, if they are, the reason is not far to seek. Too much emphasis on the writer and not enough on the reader. Also, we have every newspaper that publishes book reviews continuing to review what they describe as the 'good stuff' -- which many experienced judges regard as unreadable (see post below) -- while steadfastly ignoring books which ordinary readers buy by the tens of thousands.
This article, by the way, turns out to be the source of the story about James W. Nichol -- see second post below.