The Maryland-based Wonder Book, then, with its 54,000-square-foot warehouse, represents the mass market. Chuck Roberts, its amiable owner, said he gets requests from developers, set designers, decorators needing 1,000 books for a holiday deadline, even wedding planners.
“We’ve had a great year — it’s broken all records,” Mr. Roberts said, noting that his book-by-the-foot business now represents almost 20 percent of his total sales. Though “earth tones” are his bestsellers, he said, last week a national builder asked for light blue and gray books to stage multiple homes. A TV news program wanted linen-wrapped books chopped in half to fit the shallow, faux-shelves of a political interview program. And on Tuesday, a Chicago restaurant called for 100 linear feet of distressed clothbound books. “Must be there by Monday!” Mr. Roberts said.