There might be some truth to the idea that books weather recession well. The New York Times reports that book sales are up in Europe despite a harsh recession:
The trend has been similar in Germany, where the number of books sold rose 2.3 percent in January, according to the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, a trade organization. Analysts say many other European markets have also shown gains.
In the United States and Britain, book sales have been slightly less robust, falling by a fraction of 1 percent in both countries last year, according to Nielsen BookScan. Sales in the United States were down about 1 percent in the first 10 weeks of this year.
For more on the chances of the U.S. book market rebounding, see my Publishing in a Recession series of interviews.