Oblong Books & Music, which has stores in Millerton and Rhinebeck, N.Y., is expanding the Rhinebeck store, adding 1,000 square feet to the 2,800-sq.-ft. space. The new space will be used mainly for books and toys for children and teens and should open in the spring.
The store is in a commercial complex built in 1911 in downtown Rheinbeck near many other stores and restaurants. The expansion will be made by removing portions of a wall and opening into an adjacent space.
Oblong's Millerton store opened in 1975 and has a children's building called Oblong Jr. that will serve as the model for the Rhinebeck store's children's department. The Rhinebeck store opened in September 2001. Both stores are owned by Dick Hermans and his daughter, Suzanna Hermans, two of our favorite booksellers.
Sad news from Los Angeles: the Mystery Bookstore plans to close by the end of the month. Owners Kirk Pasich and Pamela Woods wrote in an e-mail, according to the Los Angeles Times, "We simply cannot compete with the Amazons of the world and the impact of the economy."
Ironically, the nearby Westwood Borders recently closed.
National Book Network has laid off at least seven employees, mostly in sales, according to several sources close to the distributor.
In July, Borders Group is closing its distribution center in LaVergne, Tenn., according to WKRN, a local station. Some 310 employees will lose their jobs; the staff has already been cut by 200 in the last two years. The DC is next to Ingram Content Group's headquarters.
Borders said that it no longer needs three DCs and will shift LaVergne's functions to its DCs in Carlisle, Pa. and Mira Loma, Calif.
Morgan Guion, the new co-owner of Vashon Bookshop, was profiled in the Vachon-Maury Island Beachcomber,
which reported that former owner Karen Barringer "recently sold her
share of the bookstore to Guion, who has worked at the shop since 2006
and will now manage it with co-owner Nancy Katica."
"When I was
thinking about leaving and she was interested, I knew she would be an
amazing fit to take over as co-owner.... She is great with
responsibility and has great vision and creativity," said Barringer,
adding that she decided to sell to pursue other interests. "When I
started the store, I said I was going to go 10 years and see where it
takes me, and here I am. I thought it was a good time to leave. I'm
going to spend some time with my husband Don, and when we're not at home
we're going to be traveling."
Indie booksellers in
the Bloomington, Ind., region are "still finding ways to stay open" in
the wake of the recent closure of Borders, WTIU-TV
reported. "Our philosophy is to match people up exactly with the book
they want, not its second cousin," said Joie Canada, owner of Howard's
Bookstore, which has been open for more than four decades.
TV's Jersey Shore cast member and novelist (A Shore Thing) Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi offered the "Top Ten Reasons to Buy the New Snooki Book"
on the Late Show with David Letterman. Reason number one: "The finest
work of literature ever written by an author named Snooki."
Penguin Group has created the Penguin TV and radio satellite media tours department, which will produce TV and ratio satellite tours. The company recently created a media suite facility at its New York headquarters, with five soundproof rooms that can handle radio broadcasts, videotaping, audio and video editing, audiobook recording and podcasting. The new department will work from there.
The department is being headed by director Kristin Ilardi and associate director Stephany Perez. Ilardi has been with Penguin since 2004, mostly recently as assistant manager of corporate communications. Perez has been with the company since 2005, most recently as corporate communications associate. Both worked with Marilyn Ducksworth, senior v-p of corporate communications.
Dick Heffernan, president of adult hardcover and children's sales, said that Penguin is "the first publishing company to bring these services in-house, and I'm excited to have the opportunity to break new ground with the launch of this program. Producing satellite media tours in-house will complement the efforts of Penguin's publicity and marketing teams, as part of a comprehensive media and tour strategy set up to maximize the exposure of our authors."
In the Atlantic, Peter Osnos, founder and editor-at-large of PublicAffairs, offered some perspective on the Borders crisis, giving and quick history of the company. He traces the beginning of the company's problems back to the decision by Tom and Louis Borders to sell to Kmart in 1991, which led to an awkward immediate merger with Kmart's Waldenbooks subsidiary.
Rooting for the company to survive, he concluded: "Whatever else Borders does in the months ahead, it needs to recover its belief that real book-selling is an art (with all the peculiarities that entails), as well as a viable business."
Book trailer of the day: These Things Hidden by Heather Gudenkauf (Mira).
Anthony Doerr, whose story collection Memory Wall has won the Pacific Northwest Book Award and is a finalist for the Story Prize, has written a poignant essay on how and why we read--and what a deeply personal experience it is.
He wrote in part: "It is the weather in which one reads a book that interpenetrates the paper. It is the mood one is in, the mindset one carries, the hunger in one’s gut, the quality of the sunlight falling across the page. It is the little coffee stain on page 29, the twelve bright stars scratched ecstatically across page 302.
"Maybe, rather than copies, a more precise way to think about books on the shelves of a bookshop is to think of them as something closer to recipes. The execution of a recipe, after all, depends on a thousand variables: elevation, humidity, the freshness of the vegetables, the temperature of the oven, the kind of metal in the pan, how much wine the cook has been drinking.
"What one cheese souffle is a copy of the next? What cook hasn’t tried preparing the same dish five years apart, only to produce significantly different results?"
Richard Sarnoff, longtime Random House executive, president of Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments since its founding in 2006 and co-chairman of Bertelsmann, Inc., is leaving the company to become a senior advisor to private equity firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.
Bertelsmann CFO Thomas Rabe will become head of BDMI, which has investments in more than a dozen companies, including Trion, Mojiva, Qeep, American Reading Company, Vindicia, RoyaltyShare and DealUnited.
Sarnoff worked at Random more than 20 years, was CFO of the former BDD as well as Random House, helped negotiate the purchase of Random House from Advance Publications and was the first U.S. executive from a Bertelsmann company to serve on the Bertelsmann supervisory board in Germany. He is also a former chairman of the Association of American Publishers.
In a memo to staff, Random House chairman and CEO Markus Dohle concluded, "On a personal note, I am grateful for the wide-ranging, ongoing advice and unwavering support Richard has given me, as well as so many others at Random House worldwide. Thank you, Richard, for helping Random House move strongly forward. Yours is a truly great legacy, and you always will be part of our family."
Effective in March, Langenscheidt dictionaries and phrasebooks will be distributed by Ingram Publisher Services. Those titles were recently added to APA Publications, which is part of Langenscheidt Publishing Group. The German Book Center will continue to sell German as a Foreign Language titles.
Late last year Langenscheidt Publishers shut down, sold its map and atlas division and wound down its distribution operations.