Officials at New Canaan Library and the bookstore in town say they’re seeing high demand among locals for “Fire & Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” a new book at the center of a political firestorm involving the president and his circle.
The library had ordered one copy of the nonfiction work before it had any buzz—even though the book wasn’t reviewed anywhere or expected to do very well—and that copy is expected to come this week, according to Lauren Phillips, head of collections.
There already are 29 holds on that print book—Phillips said she since has ordered three more copies, and hopes to have them soon—and 21 holds on an e-book version out of the library.
“This is an unusual situation,” Phillips said.
“It’s not unusual for us to have a lot of holds on a book before its publication date. Something like the new Walter Isaacson biography of Leonardo had lots of holds on it before it came in. We had pre-ordered that book, and others, but with those books the publisher knew there would be demand, so we got our copies.”
Yet the new Michael Wolff book on President Trump and the White House “wasn’t reviewed and what you did hear about it didn’t sound very good, but now it’s this huge political football and everyone is interested in it.”
A look at the first nine months of Trump’s administration that cites internal White House concerns about the president’s fitness, the book has garnered wide attention for quotes attributed to former chief strategist Steve Bannon, as well as criticism for what some have called inaccuracies and hyperbole.
Kathleen Millard, general manager at Elm Street Books, said 15 copies sold out quickly when “Fire & Fury” became available Thursday. Millard said she spoke Monday to representatives of the publisher and that the book now is being re-printed and she expects to get an additional 100 or so copies, hopefully starting midweek.
Elm Street Books buys titles three months ahead of time and it’s “difficult to forecast” with political books just what will be in demand.
“Once there is a controversy, everyone wants copies so that they can make up their own minds,” she said.
The bookstore typically runs out very quickly when authors such as Dan Brown or Harold Coben come out with a new title, and one-off books—such as “The Woman in the Window” from new author A.J. Finn—also sell as quickly as they come in, Millard said.
Phillips said that the library, in addition to ordering the book itself (for about $14 or $15 each) and borrowable e-book versions (for about $60 each), ordered one book on CD because typically that would come in quickly.
“We are hoping to get our copies soon because we want people to take a look at it,” she said. “It’s just a very interesting phenomenon.”