Philip Hensher eloquently defended fiction in The Independent. I don't think this is anything ya'll don't know, but it's well-written and I like it when people talk about why fiction is compelling and useful.
British author Jen Campbell tracks weird things customers say in bookshops. There are several posts full of quotes and all of them are hilarious. She's announced a book deal, and other booksellers can contribute. Timely:
Customer: Which was the first Harry Potter book?
Me: The Philosopher's Stone.
Customer: And the second?
Me: The Chamber of Secrets.
Customer: I'll take The Chamber of Secrets. I don't want The Philosopher's Stone.
Me: Have you already read that one?
Customer: No, but with series of books I always find they take a while to really get going. I don't want to waste my time with the useless introductory stuff at the beginning.
Me: The story in Harry Potter actually starts right away. Personally, I do recommend that you start with the first book – and it's very good.
Customer: Are you working on commission?
Customer: Right. How many books are there in total?
Customer: Exactly. I'm not going to waste my money on the first book when there are so many others to buy. I'll take the second one.
Me: If you're sure.
One week later, the customer returns
Me: Hi, did you want to buy a copy of The Prisoner of Azkaban?
Customer: What's that?
Me: It's the book after The Chamber of Secrets.
Customer: Oh, no, definitely not. I found that book far too confusing. I ask you, how are children supposed to understand it if I can't? I mean, who the heck is that Voldemort guy anyway? No. I'm not going to bother with the rest.
Me: ... right.
Finally, I just learned about KidLitCon from Jen Robinson's Book Page. Fellow bloggers might want to check it out.