BookExpo America and the American Library Association have "concluded" their discussions concerning a possible merger of the BEA show and the ALA annual conference. ALA said that "communication from exhibitors, attendees and association members indicated that each show is serving its constituency"; the executive board decided that "current arrangements work best at this time."
The two organizations said that "the exploration had been a positive experience and that doors have been opened for other possible collaborative activities between ALA and the American Booksellers Association, the American Association of Publishers and Reed Exhibitions."
Apparently in a nod to criticism that the Riggio family was favored by the poison pill plan adopted late last year, the Barnes & Noble board of directors has amended the poison pill plan to limit any increase in shares by the Riggo family.
The poison pill plan limits outsiders from accumulating 20% or more of the company. The Riggio family already owns at least 30% of B&N and was exempted from the poison pill plan, which insurgent investor Ron Burkle objected to. Under the amended plan, the board cannot make additional equity grants to the Riggios, and if the Riggios acquire more shares by exercising existing share options, they must dispose of the option shares within 60 days and cannot vote the shares.
The full plan is up for ratification at a special shareholders meeting November 17.
B&N also said that its two new directors, voted in on September 28 at the same time as chairman Len Riggio was re-elected--in a battle against Ron Burkle and his slate--have been added to the special committee of independent directors formed in August to oversee B&N's strategic alternatives review process, which may result in the sale of the company. The two are David Golden and David Wilson.
Golden is executive v-p and a partner of Revolution, an investment company. Earlier he worked at JP Morgan Chase and Chase Manhattan Bank. He serves on the boards of a variety of companies.
Wilson is president and CEO of the Graduate Management Admission Council, which administers the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT). Earlier he worked at Ernst & Young in a variety of positions. He holds a Ph.D. in accounting.
Bobbie Bicket, current owner of the Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, N.C., plans to sell her business to the owners of a local newspaper, the Pilot. The sale is set to close November 12.
always said our job is to serve the community, and we do that by
putting out great products," said David Woronoff, one of the Pilot's
owners. "I can't imagine Southern Pines without the Country Bookshop. I
read a story a while back about how the bookshop was really struggling
and that it might not make it, so we went out and bought it."
he acknowledges that the store "needs a little tender loving care... I
feel like we can give it that. We very much want to shore up that
institution. If we devote the resources of the Pilot, its website, the telephone directory and PineStraw magazine, we think the book store can be successful."
"I am excited that the Country Bookshop will become part of the Pilot family," said Bicket. "It is certainly the heart of the downtown. It really has a life of its own."
added: "We have a great literary tradition here, and this will add to
that. This is a sign that we are truly committed to this community and
that we will invest in it."
On his Three Percent
blog, Chad Post of Open Letter Press responded to Dennis Loy Johnson
and his announcement last week that Melville House Publishing would no
longer participate in the Best Translated Book Award in the wake of a
decision to allow Amazon to underwrite the prize for $25,000 (Shelf Awareness, October 29, 2010).
noted that "it's actually not possible for Melville House to 'withdraw
from any future involvement' with the prize. We run the BTBAs like the
National Book Critics Circle awards--publishers are encouraged to send
eligible titles to the panelists, but panelists are also our buying,
reading, and evaluating books on their own. We do this for the same
reason that we don't charge a submission fee--so that small presses that
may not have the resources and infrastructure of a Random House can
still be considered for the prize."
In addition, Post wrote that
the BTB prize committee "will try and promote the crap out of these
titles through independent bookstores. I worked for years in indie
stores before getting into publishing and will always have a soft spot
in my heart for what they do. I love the people in bookselling, the
feeling of being in a bookstore, of browsing, of overhearing bookish
conversations, of getting a recommendation from someone who's more
well-read than I am. Simply put, indie bookstores kick ass. And as was
demonstrated with the now on hiatus Reading the World program, and the
number of judges on our panels, indie stores are great supporters of
international literature, and we (me, Open Letter, Three Percent, the
BTBAs, society) would be lost without them."
"The Old Bookseller," a vintage photograph from Paris in 1920, was featured by Crashingly Beautiful.
Mystery Scene magazine profiled the award-winning Mystery Lovers Bookshop,
Oakmont, Pa., and co-owners Mary Alice Gorman and Richard Goldman, who
opened their store on Halloween in 1990 at a time when "there was only
one chain bookstore in the Pittsburgh area and Amazon was just a river."
calls it the 'blinding glimpse of the obvious' that we settled on a
mystery bookstore," said Gorman. "It was like a lightbulb because that
is what the two of us read. We've always read a lot of the same
The couple recalled considering the possible sale of
Mystery Lovers Bookshop about a decade ago, when they "put the store on
the market and then took a month-long cruise to South America. They
returned energized and took the store off the market."
response of the authors and readers at the Festival of Mystery that year
warmed our hearts," said Gorman. "What we discovered is that we really
had created a community, almost a family [of authors and readers]. Every
year the festival moves me and makes me realize that we have a
far-flung community of folks who come [from many states]. We have more
than 40 writers who say they can't wait. We give no awards; there are no
speeches. It's just all fun and ends with pizza and beer."
also observed that "people want to read and they want to read
mysteries. August is one of our biggest months as people are choosing
what to take on vacation. I had a customer who was going through a
difficult pregnancy. The doctor prescribed Rex Stout. Mysteries are
magical. We sell to readers, not collectors. And we're having fun."
Although our Seattle office has moved, review copies for Marilyn Dahl should continue to be sent to 1930 E. Lynn St., Seattle, Wash. 98112.
Book trailer of the day: The Horror! The Horror! Comic Books the Government Didn't Want You to Read! by Jim Trombetta (Abrams ComicArts).
Unusual party of the day: Molly O'Neill, whose upcoming new cookbook is One Big Table: A Portrait of American Cooking (Simon & Schuster), is hosting a party and panel discussion this Thursday, 6:30-8:30 p.m., in the Great Hall on Ellis Island in New York City. The program includes O'Neill's favorite recipes--she spent nearly a decade collecting 20,000 of them from around the country while hosting potluck dinners--prepared by Danny Meyer's Union Square Events and paired with selections from the New York Times Wine Club. A panel discussion called Stirring the Melting Pot will be moderated by the New York Times's Sam Roberts and feature O'Neill, Calvin Trillin of the New Yorker, the Food Network's Aarti Sequeira, the Culinary Institute of America's Iliana de la Vega and federal judge George Chew.
The $130 prix fixe includes ferry ride, dinner, panel discussion and a copy of One Big Table. For more information, go to nyharborparks.org/events/index.html or call 212-668-2321.