This article discusses best-selling science books, the characteristics of the audience for popular science books, and the role of books within science popularization and science education. Best-selling science books have been rare, but generally readable. Regional books, also important sources of scientific information, aim at much smaller, far more price-sensitive audiences. Many successful regional, nontechnical science books are readable, heavily illustrated, and in some cases, cross-disciplinary. To increase the attentive audience for scientific information, improvement in science education is necessary, and the most efficacious role for scientific institutions may be the production of materials that can be easily incorporated into school curricula. ?? 1991 Springer.