Book sales rising as recession least in Europe

Here's some good news from the recession: Book sales are up, at least in Continental Europe.

As far as "cheap treats" go, books are at the top of the list, and readers have more time on their hands if they're unemployed, according to a story in the New York Times.

The numbers aren't up dramatically, but in a recession, a small rise is still up. Book sales in France rose 2% in December from a year ago, and rose 2.4% in January, the Times found. Sales in Germany were up 2.3% in January.

But in the United States and Britain, book sales fell a fraction of 1% lat year. Sales in the United States were down about 1% in the first 10 weeks of 2009.