Steve Falke, Penn State’s director of stores, said he wasn’t surprised when copies of the new Joe Paterno biography didn’t leap off his shelves Tuesday.
Falke thinks that the release of Joe Posnanski’s new book, “Paterno,” is a bigger national story than a local story because many people in State College have moved on and returning students, those who’ve made it to town, are more interested in buying textbooks.
“Paterno” offers an inside look at the late Penn State head football coach’s experiences as the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal was unfolding.
“Everybody is past it,” Falke said, adding that the Penn State Bookstore sold only about half of its 60 total copies after the official release Tuesday.
The book did sell well online. “Paterno” was in the top 15 of sales on Amazon.com on Tuesday and has been in the top 100 for the previous seven days.
Downtown, Student Book Store General Manager John Lindo agreed that interest wasn’t intense Tuesday, but said he expects to start moving more books in less than two weeks, when the football crowds swarm the town once again.
SBS sold out its 20 copies, but Lindo plans to have 80 more shipped as soon as today.
Lindo joked that if all the members of the media who came in to report on the story had bought a book, he would have sold two to three times as many.
Staff at Barnes and Noble said they didn’t have any copies of the book available for over-the-counter sales, but received numerous calls from people wondering if “Paterno” was in stock.
The major national book chain sold all 80 of its copies via pre-order, a store worker said, as customers were stopping by to pick up their prepaid copies.
Barnes and Noble management expected additional copies this week, but didn’t give a specific time when they would be available.
George Stuck, of West Lawn, flipped through a copy of “Paterno” at the Student Book Store and said he was interested in reading it, but did not buy a book Tuesday.
Stuck said he’s interested in getting a glimpse inside the Paterno household during that troubling time, and still respects Paterno as a person.
“I still think he was a great guy,” Stuck said, “and a great coach.”
Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan