Booksellers still expect shoppers to turn to books for some of their holiday gift giving, despite the weak economy. But their purchases are likely to offer a bit of escapism -- with anticipated gains in cooking, entertainment and feel-good fiction.
Anne Bartholomew, senior books editor at Amazon.com, said the holiday timing is great for new books such as "More Information Than You Require," by John Hodgman, known for his appearances in Apple Computer ads and Comedy Central; and "Dilbert 2.0," a 20-year compilation of "Dilbert" comics.
Cookbooks will be bigger than usual this season, as consumers have less discretionary income for eating out, and celebrity chefs continue to be popular.
There is also a focus on fiction. "It takes you to another place, it takes you to another world, it's great escapism," said Bob Wietrak, a vice president of merchandising for Barnes & Noble.