Today Bowker, the U.S. ISBN agency, released a report that shows a 14% increase in the number of titles published for 2004. But who’s reading all these books? Lately, there has been a lot of talk about how many people are simply reading fewer books and last week the Book Industry Study Group reported that the number of books sold in the U.S. has dropped — 44 million fewer books sold in 2004 than in 2003. So what’s the deal? We obviously love literature and books here at LitKicks, but what do you think about these reports? Is this a reflection of the boom in self-publishing and print on demand? Are these meaningful numbers or are we missing something? Are we really reading less? Are we just lazy? Bored? Should we blame the publishing industry for producing too many books it’s just so hard to choose? Or should we blame them for failing to give us anything we’d find interesting? Maybe we are just reading more online, so we should blame the internet … or maybe we’re just saving up our book buying frenzy for the next installment of the Harry Potter franchise, so we could blame Ms. Rowling. We could always blame it on the economy or, as Milli Vanilli offered, we could blame it on the rain. What’s a person to do? I guess just brush it off and get started on those summer reading lists.