Travel books have always been popular. For the past 100 years or so, many readers have rushed to buy a different kind of travel guide: Guides to the journey we undertook when we have children.
The late Dr. Spock and his competitors now fill shelf after bookstore shelf with books about how to keep the kids from going astray, and how to deal with the little monsters when they do go astray.
Serious nonfiction looks at aging have not been as common, partly because living to a ripe old age was not as common as it is today. Books about caregiving have been even less common.
Now, the market may be starting to change. Today, for example, I have promotional materials for 4 books related to long-term care (LTC) sitting on my one desk.
One is a press kit for 3 books by Holly Whiteside on dealing with the stress related to caregiving. Whiteside, a Fremont, N.H., woman who has been a caregiver for 10 years, has written "The Caregivers Compass," a book on how caregivers can avoid burnout; "The Caregiver's Reader," a collection of articles about caregiving-related stress; and "Exploring Hell and Other Warm Places," a book about Whiteside's experiences with providing care for her own mother.
Whiteside publicist's note in the promotional materials for the book that only 1.5% of the books in Amazon's "Aging Parents" category deal with the emotional aspects of providing care.
I'm also looking at an introductory letter from Craig McCormick, president of LTCI Educational Services Inc., Plainwell, Mich., a long-term care insurance (LTCI), specialist who has written a book aimed at consumers who are shopping for LTCI.
McCormick, who also has sent me a paper and CD version of the book itself, says he hopes consumers will use the book to learn how they can help protect their own finances and relieve some of the stress on Medicare and Medicaid.
In the book, McCormick goes into detail about the problems plaguing government health care and LTC programs, concerns about Medicaid planning, strategies for finding good LTCI agents and brokers, how to compare LTCI policies, and how to design an LTCI plan.