So I've been feeling a little worried about our manga collection lately. You see, we have a HUGE manga collection and it's always been really popular. Really, really popular. Kids would come up and ask for new series, let me know if I'd fallen behind in my ordering (which does occasionally happen!) or just to tell me about their favorite books.
But in the last year or so I'd noticed a real drop in activity related to manga here in the Library. I wasn't seeing as many rabid manga fans (although there's always plenty of people reading manga) and I just wasn't hearing the buzz about new series like I used to. I check the New York Times best seller lists, I check recommendations on Amazon, I read the journals, but I just wasn't finding the new "Bleach" type of manga. I thought I'd somehow completely lost touch with the manga world.
It turns out the manga world is shrinking. According to an article in Publisher's Weekly, manga sales have dropped by a third since 2007. That's huge. Manga used to be one of the fastest growing segments of the publishing industry, but not anymore.
So on one hand I'm relieved that I'm not totally out of touch, but on the other hand I'm bummed that there's so much less manga being published. It's so popular, it's so accessible, and so much fun, I hope that things settle down and begin to rebound soon.
One of the possible factors given for the drop in manga sales in the PW article was "younger readers are turning to Twilight rather than manga for their fix." Interesting idea.
What manga are you reading, if any? What are the latest series to come out that you can't live without? Or are you breathlessly awaiting the release of the next Stephenie Meyer book and couldn't care less about manga?