I used to run a non-profit literary center, the great and Rasputin-like Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance, back when it was the ultimate one-stop-shop for all Maine books. In the 1990s our wholesaling book distribution service supplied hundreds of titles to dozens of bookstores and libraries each year. I then drifted away from the book industry into magazines where I've been almost ever since. Recently, I've returned to the book world as an editorial director, and of course, as an author, and I've been doing a lot of catching up — a lot of catching up.
Needless to say, I found Daniel Menaker's assessment of the book editor's life sobering on all sorts of levels. One section of the article I found puzzling was Menaker's estimation of the total number of book readers in the U.S. If there are only a million or so, as he guesses, who bought those zillion copies of The DaVinci Code? No, seriously.