Mark and I went up to Champaign this afternoon, though walking around in this 90-degree heat wasn't much fun. After lunch, we stopped and looked around a bit at the B&N, where I made a mental list of some books I want to buy. Then, after giving up on the Showcase of Homes on the western side of Champaign (not the most attractive area; right next to the water treatment plant), we headed back home on I-57 South, stopping at the local outlet mall in Tuscola along the way. The mall is outdoors, and it's about half vacant - I'll be surprised if it's still there in five years. For now, though, it still boasts a Book Warehouse, one of those chain remainder stores you often find in such venues.
I haven't bought anything there in a couple years (and, I know, I should feel guilty for buying anything there at all, given that authors don't get royalties off remaindered books). Besides, the stock hardly ever changes. Today, though, they had a number of fairly new titles on the shelves, marked down to $6.99 each. One of them was Azhar Abidi's Passarola Rising, which I reviewed for Booklist in January - a mere six months ago. It made it on the cover of Viking's winter catalog, by which I assume it was supposed to be a big hit. Well, it apparently wasn't, despite being a charming little historical fable that reading groups would likely appreciate. This may be a title that will do better in paperback; the fact that Amazon only boasts two reader reviews for it (one by Klausner) is a sign that it hasn't been widely read. The remaindered Passarola Rising sat next to piles of several other recent historical novels which I recognized as having been published in February and March.
Not a huge surprise, really - just another sign that shelf life for books isn't anywhere near as long as it used to be.