Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I earned $125.1 million in U.S. theaters over the weekend, setting a Harry Potter debut weekend record and coming in No. 6 all-time for weekend openings. The movie took in $205 million abroad, for a global total of $330.1 million.
The Wall Street Journal noted that weekend Harry Potter movie goers aged 18-34, many of whom grew up with the franchise, represented 25% of the audience. By contrast, moviegoers 18-34 were just 10% of the first Harry Potter film's audience.
With worldwide earnings of $5.4 billion, the Harry Potter movies have earned more than either the James Bonds or Star Wars movies. The next and last Harry Potter movie appears next summer.
Norris Church Mailer, author of two novels and a memoir and wife of the late Norman Mailer, died yesterday in New York City. She was 61.
Mailer spent managed her husband's career and family life for three decades. At the same time, she held art shows, was an actress and playwright, wrote the novels Windchill Summer and Cheap Diamonds as well the memoir, A Ticket to the Circus, which Random House published in April.
The New York Times has an extensive obit.
"It was fun." This was a refrain--a regular Carla Cohen comment--at the tribute for her held yesterday at Prose & Politics, Washington, D.C., the store she founded 26 years ago. See the hour-long tributes streaming on the store's website. As of this morning, the tribute is playing continuously so viewers may pick up in the middle--meaning that appropriately there is no set begininng or end to the story of Carla's life.
On the store's 40th birthday, the New York Times profiled BookPeople, Austin, Tex., which after the success of the Keep Austin Weird campaign, "solidified its cult following among Austin's energetic community of book buyers and readers and nurtured the 'buy local' culture that has become a defining feature of life in the state capital."
The store's busy event schedule is another major draw. Author Sarah Bird commented: "For my last book, How Perfect Is That, I concocted a version of the heroine's special Code Warrior cocktail, my friend danced in a pink vinyl naughty nurse costume and did botox freshening, and another friend did hand massages. Could any of this have happened at a big-box store? Yes, but then arrests would have been made."
The store also has a range of sidelines--which account for 20% of sales--including "odd, one-of-a-kind items like refrigerator magnets that featured the tutued likeness of Leslie Cochran, the local homeless, cross-dressing celebrity. BookPeople has also transfixed young readers with the power of the written word through its literary camps (including the wildly popular Camp Half-Blood, based on the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan, a San Antonio author)."
BookPeople owner Steve Bercu, an ABA board member, told the paper, "Business is great. We've been up 8 of 10 months this year."
The New York Times chronicled the "smash hit" Autobiography of Mark Twain, published by the University of California Press last week, a $35, four lb., 736-page tome already in its sixth printing--for a total of 275,000--that will be No. 7 on the Times hardcover nonfiction bestseller list next Sunday.
The press has scrambled to meet demand for the book, the first of three volumes, which has sold out at many stores. Twain, who died in 1910, ordered that the book be published at least a century after his death.
As Kris Kleindienst of Left Bank Books, St. Louis, Mo., commented: "You would think only completists and scholars would want a book like this. But there's an enduring love affair with Mark Twain, especially around here. Anybody within a stone's throw of the Mississippi River has a Twain attachment."
Rebecca Fitting, co-owner of Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, N.Y., called the it "totally the Dad book of the year. It's that autobiography, biography, history category, a certain kind of guy gift book."
Twain dictated most of the book in the four years before he died. The Times called Autobiography of Mark Twain "more political than his previous works, by turns frank, funny, angry and full of recollections from his childhood, which deeply influenced books like Huckleberry Finn."
Autobiography of Mark Twain may be perfect for the short attention spans of the digital age. Paul Ingram of Prairie Lights, Iowa City, Iowa, called it not a book to read straight through from beginning to end, but "the kind of book you would read a little bit of every day of your life."
Tri-County Times surveys Fenton's Open Book, the Fenton, Mich., bookstore that opened in August in space that formerly housed a Little Professor. Fenton's Open Book owner Karen Piacentini, who had worked at the Little Professor store for seven years, told the paper, "I still see the need for a bookstore downtown. We re-opened with a new inventory and a re-arranged floor plan."
The children's section has been expanded, and there is a new emphasis on titles about Michigan and by Michigan authors. The store also has a "teacher's section" geared to educators and home schoolers.
Seeking another edge, Borders is extending its returns policy so that now any product purchased through December 24 may be returned as late as January 31, extending the usual 30-day returns limit.
Some stores won't be there to accept late returns: Borders is closing a total of 17 superstores after the holidays, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Amazon has joined some of its e-competitors and is now allowing e-books for its Kindle to be given as gifts. Recipients need only an e-mail address and can return unwanted e-book gifts for Amazon gift cards.
YOMO in BAM 2: Yogurt Mountain, the self-service frozen yogurt retailer, has opened its second store inside a Books-A-Million, this one in Lakeland, Fla. Earlier this year, BAM made an investment in Yogurt Mountain and extended the company a line of credit (Shelf Awareness, April 19, 2010).
Cool idea of the day: New Zealand booksellers are searching for the country's "most inspired bookshelf.... Whether it's color-coded, alphabetized or sorted by publication date, the hunt is on for New Zealand's most inspired, well-stocked and lovingly-crafted bookcase," Scoop reported.
"This competition is a bit of fun, but also an opportunity to really appreciate the beauty that a whole lot of books carefully placed, cunningly coerced or simply shoved into a bookshelf can be," said Lincoln Gould, CEO of Booksellers NZ. You can see the photos here and follow the campaign on Twitter.
The Guardian featured a video tour of Nick Hornby's Ministry of Stories, which opened last Friday (Shelf Awareness, November 19, 2010)
Jim and Sally Nurss plan to open Our Town Books at 64 E. Central Park Plaza in Jacksonville, Ill., next spring, the Journal-Courier reported.
"This is a community of readers and writers and we felt Jacksonville needed a bookstore," said Sally. Added Jim: "It was an opportunity to come downtown and help promote the revitalization of the square."
International bookstore worship.
Scotland for the Senses discovered "bookshop heaven" at the Watermill in Aberfeldy, Perthshire, where "every element of this bookstore has been planned with the pleasure of the customer in mind, using many of the structure's original features. I like to think it was in honor of the miller who first lovingly restored the unique historical building."
And the Libreria El Ateneo Grand Splendid in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was showcased in a Travel Between the Pages feature, "Reader’s Choice: Bookshop Porn III."