It has long been known that more books are sold in times of financial difficulties than when times are good. One reason is that people spend more time at home, another is the link between studying and bad times. I know that literature is not always seen as education, and though some, like Fifty Shades of Grey, which has added greatly to the increase in book sales in 2012, is not really considered standard educational literature, then books as such, not to mention reading, exemplify learning. According to this morning’s briefing in the Bookseller total book sales in digital and physical formats grew 4% in 2012 to a total of £3.3bn. That overall growth contrasts with a 2% dip recorded the year before, when a rise in digital sales did not compensate for the decline of physical sales. The 2012 rise was boosted by big digital leaps, with total digital sales up 66% (£411m), total consumer e-book sales up 134% (£216m) and total fiction digital sales up 149% (£172m). However, in the year of the Fifty Shades phenomenon, total physical sales of fiction books also grew, by 3% (£502m). Physical and digital sales of fiction combined rose 21% to £674m.