Borders Group is closing an additional 28 superstores beyond the 200 it has been in the process of closing since it filed for Chapter 11 reorganization on February 16. The 28 stores are included (highlighted in gray) in the overall store closing list, which can be seen here, and all will close by late May.
Last Friday in a conference call, Borders CEO Mike Edwards indicated that the company would make a decision this week on closing up to 75 more stores, depending on rent reduction negotiations with landlords (Shelf Awareness, March 14, 2011). The 228 stores Borders is closing represent 47% of the superstores it had before declaring bankruptcy.
Joseph-Beth Booksellers plans to close its store in Fredericksburg, Va., by the end of June, the fifth store it will have closed since declaring bankruptcy last November 11, leaving just three stores--in Lexington, Ky.; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Memphis, Tenn.--as well as its health and wellness store in Cleveland, Ohio. In court filings, the company reserves the right to close more stores.
The company is also putting itself up for auction, in essence conceding concerns expressed earlier this month by the unsecured creditors' committee that Joseph-Beth doesn't have an adequate plan for reorganizing and emerging from bankruptcy, has inadequate financing and hasn't cut expenses enough (Shelf Awareness, March 7, 2011).
In court papers, Joseph-Beth
said that "after numerous discussion [sic]" with creditors and
lenders, it "would be unable to propose a consensual Plan of
Reorganization." Thus, the company intends to put itself up for sale,
either as a whole or in parts, in an auction "with a goal of selling the
stores as a going concern no later than April 27." The company prefers to
sell to an established retailer but is open "to all potential
Congratulations to Amanda Ring, who will open Amanda's Book Store tomorrow in downtown Wenatchee, Wash., according to Wenatchee World. The store, which will offer a mix of used and new books, is in a location that once housed Read It Again Books, which closed in December.
Amanda's Book Store is located at 11 Palouse St., Wenatchee, Wash. 98802; 509-630-8085.
Jennifer Green plans to open Beantree Books in Hazleton, Pa., in June, Bookselling This Week wrote. The 2,200-sq.-ft. store will sell used and new books, newspapers and magazine and have both a coffee bar and community meeting room. Beantree Books will also exhibit and sell work by local artists and photographers on a consignment basis.
"I've watched the annual charity, used-book sale crowds, which were always pretty big to begin with, multiply exponentially over the past couple of years," Green said. "We are currently a reading market without a local supplier, and our store will meet that demand."
American Booksellers Association membership has approved a bylaws amendment that adds a position to the nine-person board, "by making the position of Board president a separate and distinct position that serves one two-year term," Bookselling This Week reported. The change is effective with the next ABA president, whose term begins in May at BookExpo America. That new president will most likely be current vice president Becky Anderson of Anderson's Bookshops, Naperville and Downers Grove, Ill., who has been nominated to the post.
The ABA president has had one-year terms. Current president Michael Tucker of Books Inc., with a dozen stores in California, said that "creating a two-year term for future presidents will prove to be a great benefit for ABA's governance and for achieving the association's ends policies by enhancing the diversity of the Board's deliberations and by helping to ensure the frequent infusion of new energy and ideas while maintaining the responsiveness and collegiality of a small group."
Richard Howorth, owner of Square Books, Oxford, Miss., former mayor of Oxford and former president of the American Booksellers Association, likely will add another post to his resume, one involving a different kind of power: President Obama has nominated him to the board of the Tennessee Valley Authority, a position that needs to be confirmed by the Senate, according to the Tennessean.
As mayor of Oxford, Howorth was chairman of the authority that oversees the Oxford Electric Department, and he has served as a director and officer of the North Mississippi Industrial Development Association.
The TVA board is made up of nine members who serve five-year terms. The authority provides electricity to most of Tennessee and parts of six other states.
In an editorial entitled "Amazon v. the States," the New York Times weighed in on the issue of online retailers and sales tax. Stating that online retailers' frequent exemption from collecting sales tax is "ridiculous now when so many states are in deep fiscal trouble," the paper concluded, "Collecting state taxes is not an unreasonable burden for online retailers. Amazon already collects taxes in five states, including New York, and it also collects taxes on behalf of physical retailers that sell through Amazon. The best outcome would be for Congress to pass legislation requiring all retailers, online and off, to collect sales taxes everywhere they are due. In the meantime, states should not give in to Amazon's pressure tactics."
Sadly, a new Johns Hopkins University Press has a powerful topical hook, and the title says it all: Catastrophes! Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Tornadoes, and Other Earth-Shattering Disasters by Donald R. Prothero ($30, 9780801896927).
As the press wrote: "Prothero describes in gripping detail some of the most important natural disasters in history," including the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the New Madrid, Mo., earthquakes in the early 19th century and volcanic eruptions including Krakatoa, Vesuvius and Mount St. Helens. "Floods that wash out whole regions, earthquakes that level a single country, hurricanes that destroy everything in their path--all are here to remind us of how little control we have over the natural world."
Prothero, a professor of geology at Occidental College, had an op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times last week (reminding southern Californians that like the Japanese, they live in earthquake country) and will appear on BBC Radio Monday night.
If the press has a special ability to link and predict current events, let's hope some of its future titles are about healing, recovery and prosperity!
Book trailer of the day: If You Knew Then What I Know Now by Ryan Van Meter (Sarabande Books). The video focuses on "First," one of the essays in this debut collection.
at the Bank Street Book Awards Ceremony, these four esteemed creators of
children's books gave their acceptance speeches (from l. to r.): Sharon M.
Draper, author of Out of My Mind
(Atheneum/S&S), winner of the Josette Frank Award for fiction (l. to r.); Brian
Pinkney, illustrator of Sit-In: How Four
Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down
(Little, Brown), winner of the Flora
Stieglitz Straus Award for nonfiction; Bob Raczka, author of Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys
illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds (not pictured), winner of the Claudia Lewis
Award for Poetry; and Andrea Davis Pinkney, author of Sit-In
. The acceptance speeches for the winning books and list of
starred titles on the 2011 Bank Street Book Committee's annotated list appear
This is the 101st year that the list has been made available "to guide
parents, teachers, and librarians in choosing the very best books for children."
Effective June 1, Harvard Common Press will be distributed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. The press is currently distributed by National Book Network.
Gary Gentel, president of HMH's Trade & Reference Group, called Harvard Common Press "one the most innovative and respected publishers of cookbooks and parenting guides in the market" and said its "strong backlist complements our own."
Bruce Shaw, president and publisher of Harvard Common Press, said, "We are especially proud of the leadership role that Harvard Common Press has taken among smaller publishers in creating content and building delivery channels for the digital marketplace and we look forward to working with HMH to create and distribute content that the next generation of consumers will use and enjoy."