E-reader price cutting continues. Amazon is introducing an updated version of its Kindle DX and lowering the price $110 to $379. The new version of the Kindle DX, which has a larger screen than the Kindle, has better contrast and darker fonts and will ship on July 7. The company is offering it with free 3G wireless.
Baker & Taylor, which already supplies music to Shopko stores in 13 states, will become the retailer's sole supplier of books and will provide the company with field merchandising and vendor-managed inventory services.
With headquarters in Green Bay, Wis., Shopko has 135 Shopko stores that sell general merchandise, pharmacy and optical services in small and mid-sized cities and five Shopko Express Rx stores. It will soon open two Shopko Hometown stores.
The Hub City Writers Project opened its nonprofit bookstore in downtown Spartanburg, S.C., yesterday, the Spartanburg Herald Journal wrote. The 2,000-sq.-ft. Hub City Bookshop stocks mostly new and some used titles.
A coffee bar and bakery are also opening soon in the Masonic Temple Building, where the store is located. The store will use a 275-seat auditorium on the upper floor for special events.
"As far as we know, nowhere else in the country is there anything like this," Betsy Teter, executive director of the Hub City Writers Project, told the Herald Journal. "We think this could be a model for a new trend in the way to keep independent booksellers alive."
The store's focus will be on "keeping our inventory fresh," she added. "We want customers to see something new every time they come in. There's probably no more visible sign that your downtown is alive and well than a thriving bookstore."
Sadly Bay Books in Concord, Calif., which stocks new and used books, will close on or about August 15 although there is still a chance it will move, according to a store announcement. Diane Van Tassell, whose family has owned the store for half of its 22-year history, said that Bay Books's other store, in San Ramon, "remains vibrant."
The Concord store, the largest indie in Contra Costa County, is "in a center increasingly frequented by people who do not read in the English language, and those whose family income is insufficient to buy very many books in any language," the announcement said.
It also cited "the lure of cheap book prices at Amazon and Costco. If Bay Books at any given time had half as many customers as are browsing the book dumps at Costco, we would be a roaring success."
Congratulations to the Seattle Mystery Bookshop, which celebrates its 20th anniversary today. Throughout the day, the store will serve birthday cake, coffee and tea and give advanced readers copies to those who buy a new book as well as a offer commemorative puzzle.
The store was opened by Bill Farley, who was working at Whodunnit in Philadelphia, Pa., when author Aaron Elkins remarked that Seattle needed a mystery bookshop. He and his wife, B Jo, talked later that day--and the rest is mystery history.
The store is a favorite of many mystery authors--J.A. Jance helped make change for the first sale--and aficionados. Farley said he aimed "to be a resource, to bring authors and readers together, and to provide as comprehensive a selection of mysteries as possible." The store's tagline is "For mystery lovers who know what they want and for those who haven't a clue."
Five years ago the store moved about 30 yards from "a dark and mysterious corner" of the Broderick Building to its current space, which is larger and has more light and visibility.
W.S. Merwin will be named U.S. poet laureate today, the New York Times reported. Merwin, who is 82 and lives in Hawaii, told the paper: "I do like a very quiet life. I can't keep popping back and forth between here and Washington," adding that he does like "being part of something much more public and talking too much."
Flo Chapa opened her Books-N-Things used paperback store,
McAllen, Tex., a year ago, and the Monitor observed that when she "talks about
books, characters and stories she loves, her eyes light up. She wants to
share the joy of reading with everyone."
"I've had people tell
me, 'I'm not a reader, Flo.' I tell them, 'No, you just haven't picked
up the right book,'" she said. "I am an avid reader. I love books, and
if you love books, this is a great store . . . and value."
Shobhna Kumar has established Queer Ink,
which the Hindustan Times calls "India’s first online
store selling gay literature."
"I had a selfish reason for
starting this, as I could not get access to these books," said Kumar.
"And Amazon would not deliver them. I think they wouldn't get through
customs as they offend Indian sensibilities. There are a few Indian
online bookstores, but they take weeks to deliver. I figured other
people must be in the same position."
and Stanley Trollip, who write under the pseudonym Michael Stanley,
selected their top-10 African crime novels for the Guardian and noted that the books "all
capture some aspect of African culture or location. All but one relate
to sub-Saharan Africa--the lands of colonies and colonial masters; of
newly democratic countries and post-independence struggles. Reading
these books will introduce you to areas with which you may be unfamiliar
and perhaps give you new insights into some of the oldest cultures in
In what might well qualify as the perfect
summer beach reads list, particularly if your vacation plans include
being marooned on an island somewhere in the South Pacific, Entertainment Weekly showcased "books,
authors, and literary references that found a place in the Lost
The Huffington Post featured a slideshow of
author memorabilia offered at auction--including a lock of Jane Austen's
hair and a gold and ivory toothpick that once belonged to Charles
Dickens--that "produced surprising results over the last year. You won't
believe what fans have wanted and what they left behind."
On Salon.com, Laura Miller offered an ode to the audiobook, especially for summer reading. "Listening is less work than reading from a page; it feels like a treat rather than an assignment, and treats are what vacations are all about."
Penguin Group's Riverhead Trade Paperbacks is launching the Picture a Book Changing Lives campaign to raise money for the Khaled Hosseini Foundation, which was founded by the author to aid the people of Afghanistan. The Foundation supports projects that provide shelter to refugee families and economic and educational opportunities for women and children. The Foundation also awards scholarships to students who have migrated to the U.S. under refugee status and women pursuing higher education in Afghanistan.
Under the Picture a Book Changing Lives campaign, people may submit one or two still photos of themselves reading or holding a copy of Hosseini's The Kite Runner or A Thousand Splendid Suns. For each such photo uploaded to the Hosseini group page of Penguin, Riverhead is donating $2 to the Foundation, up to $25,000. The campaign runs through August 31.
Geoffrey Kloske, v-p and publisher of Riverhead, commented, "Khaled Hosseini's books have changed the way many around the world picture Afghanistan, so it's a great opportunity to give his readers a way to help raise money that will benefit the people of that country."
Ruby, the bookshop dog at the Learned Owl, Hudson, Ohio, filled in for her person, Liz, in the July newsletter, offering a dog's eye view of some new titles. For example, "Looking for some detective fiction? I like the Chet and Bernie series by Spencer Quinn (Dog On It, Thereby Hangs a Tail), or you could try Martha Grimes' latest, The Black Cat. I'm reserving judgment, but the two cats who share my house are excited about it."
Ruby signed off, "Enjoy the Dog Days of Summer! Woof!"
Ingram Publisher Services is now distributing the following presses:
Pineapple Press, founded in 1982, which publishes regional titles about Florida, including the state's history, folklore, art, gardening, nature and travel. Other specialties include books on lighthouses and books on Georgia and the Carolinas.
Dark Coast Press, which was founded last year by former Wiley editor Aaron Talwar and Jarrett Middleton. The press specializes in literary fiction, poetry, essays and avant-garde works by both established and new authors.
Australian Academic Press, Brisbane, which was founded in 1987 by Stephen May, current president of the Australian Publishers Association. The press works with academics, researchers and scholarly and professional societies to publish professional and popular books, e-books, monographs and print and electronic journals in the behavioral and social sciences.