Here's a point to ponder: Both the music and movie businesses have been plagued by flat or declining sales of late, but so far this year...

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Here’s a point to ponder: Both the music and movie businesses have been plagued by flat or declining sales of late, but so far this year, book sales have been up, up, up.

The June report from the Association of American Publishers notes that sales of adult hardcover books rose 34 percent in May, up almost 11 percent for the year. Adult paperback sales grew 18 percent, up almost 8 percent for the year. Children’s and young-adult hardcover books posted healthy gains, as did audiobooks and e-books.

Until this year, religious publishing was credited with boosting publishing’s bottom line, but religious book sales are down 4.7 percent for the year.

A somewhat local manifestation of this phenomenon: Powells.com, the Web site run by Powell’s bookstore, of Portland, saw sales increase 21 percent for the year.

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A nonlocal explanation: According to Publishers Weekly, 85 percent of those sales came from outside the Pacific Northwest.

Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times book editor