Long waiting list for ‘Fear’ in Kitsap County
Most people who want to check out “Fear: Trump in the White House” — Bob Woodward’s new book on the Trump presidency — from Kitsap Regional Library will have a long wait before they crack open the instant best-seller.
A very long wait.
As of the official release date for the book on Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Kitsap Regional Library had 214 people on its wait list for its 29 regular print copies of “Fear.”
“It is a lot,” said Ben Nanamaker, who purchases adult non-fiction books for the library system.
“I don’t recall having this much demand for a Bob Woodward book in my time ordering non-fiction,” he said.
So get ready for a wait.
With 214 in line for the print version of the book, if each reader checks out the book for the maximum three weeks allowed by the library system, the last people on the hold list won’t get “Fear” for themselves for 22 weeks.
The wait list is considerably shorter at KRL for other formats of Woodward’s “Fear.”
The library system has ordered seven large-print versions, and 66 people are on the hold list. For the two copies of the audio book, there are 25 holds; for the ebook (seven copies), 52 holds; and for the e-audio version (four copies), 29 holds.
All told, KRL has 49 copies currently ordered in different formats, and 416 readers waiting for “Fear” on a hold list.
Interest in the book started percolating soon after its publisher, Simon & Schuster, announced its impending release in mid August. Three people immediately called KRL and asked the library system to purchase the book, Nanamaker said.
KRL decided to buy six copies, and requests from readers continued to pour in.
Nanamaker said there had been about 30 holds before Woodward, an investigative journalist for the Washington Post who first found fame alongside Carl Bernstein for their coverage of President Nixon’s Watergate scandal, starting making television appearances to promote “Fear” last Tuesday, a week before its official release.
Nanamaker came in to work that Tuesday morning and there were 20 more holds; by the end of the day, another 50 requests came in.
The trend continued on Wednesday morning.
“When I came in it went up another 40,” he said. “It’s sort of spiking like crazy.”
Other books about Trump have been proven to be popular with readers, he said, but not as much as this one.
“Like with ‘Fire and Fury,’ the demand is going to outstrip the supply for a while,” he said.
Requests for Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” took off soon after excerpts from the book were leaked.
“That was one where we had ordered just one [copy]. The excerpts got leaked to some magazine; the morning that story came out, we went from zero holds to like a hundred.”
Figuring out how many copies to buy is an educated guessing game of sorts for non-fiction works.
The library system can more safely predict the demand for new novels from established fiction writers such as Stephen King and James Patterson.
“I think with adult nonfiction, it’s a little bit harder to predict what’s going to become a bestseller,” Nanamaker said.
KRL received its initial order of “Fear” Tuesday, and the books should be in circulation as soon as bar codes are added and they are sent through the library’s circulation system.
Some on Bainbridge Island have already gotten a copy of the book, purchased through Eagle Harbor Book Company.
Manager Tim Hunter said there was “almost no interest” in the book until after Woodward’s television roll-out last Tuesday.
In the space of 24 hours, Eagle Harbor Book’s entire initial order of 20 books was spoken for, Hunter said.
“And I’ve got more cases on the way. The wonders of cable TV exposure, I suppose,” he added.
By the day of the book’s official release, all 60 copies of the initial order had been sold by the Winslow bookstore.
“As of this afternoon [Sept. 11], about a third of our second order of 40 is spoken for, and it should arrive early next week,” Hunter said.