Founded on the island of Santorini in Greece in 2004 by "a small cadre from England, Cyprus and the States," Atlantis Books is listed in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2011 as one of 10 "world's greatest bookshops." For its part, Fodor's wrote: "Atlantis Books is a tiny English bookshop that would be at home in New York's Greenwich Village or London's Bloomsbury; its presence here is a miracle. Only good literature makes it onto the shelves. Writers stop by to chat and give readings."
But in the past two years, the Greek economy collapsed, tourism is down, taxes are up and e-readers "pinched hard" on sales. The store has responded by cutting expenses, starting a publishing arm, Paravion Press
(Shelf Awareness, December 15, 2010), and more--and is asking fans and readers to contribute toward a goal of $40,000. The money will go to improvements, including "overdue renovations" to the store interior, transformation of the terrace "into a flexible retail and performance space" and a "fresh stock" of books.
So far, the store has raised more than $15,000 toward its goal, with a little less than three weeks left. The store said that if it doesn't raise the money, it does not "expect to be able to open our blue doors for another season."
The Novel Experience, San Luis Obispo, Calif., will close at the end of the month, the San Luis Obispo Tribune
reported. Owner Jim Hill told the paper that the closing is a matter of "financial necessity," resulting from "a gradual decline" in business for several years because of online competition and the growing popularity of e-readers.
The Novel Experience was founded 50 years ago; Hill has owned it for the past 20 years. In 2004, he moved the store into a smaller space downtown. Although the store hasn't been profitable in recent years, "I've tried to honor the regular customers that kept me going over the years--those loyal locals who support the local community businesses because they virtually comprise the character of a community," he said. "I did everything I could to honor that idea."
Ruth Erb, who has owned Book People
bookstore, Richmond, Va., for 30 years, has put her shop up for sale
and plans to close after this year if no buyer can be found, the Times-Dispatch
problem is I'm losing energy. I'm getting older," said Erb. "It just
gets to be too much. I don't want to deal with it." A closing date has
not been set, but Erb added, "I don't want to see it die."
is the future of libraries in the e-book age? "Libraries have always
been thought of as a kind of 'temple of books'... a place you can go to
for peace and quiet, a place to read and think," NPR's
Lynn Neary said in her report on a new era in lending. "They are
intricate part of the fabric that pulls a community together. But if
they are to be relevant in the future they will have to make space for
themselves in the digital community as well."
Platt, director of collections and circulation at the New York Public
Library, told Neary that libraries "use intermediaries to manage both
their physical and digital book collections. He thinks libraries could
work with these intermediaries to develop subscription packages of
e-books. Libraries would pay the publishers for these subscriptions and
use them as they see fit."
"So I'd buy a title with 1,000 uses,"
Platt observed, "and then it's up to us and our readers whether those
1,000 uses get used simultaneously in the first few days or whether they
get drawn out over time. And then if they do get used quickly, we'll
Roberta Stevens, president of the American Library
Association, would like to see more publishers involved in the e-book
conversation: "When we look at the future then we have to really think
very seriously about what is our role--and how can we actually serve the
millions and millions of people who use our public libraries everyday
if we can't even get access to titles."
The estate of James Jones has made an agreement with Open Road Integrated Media to issue 10 titles by the author in e-book form, including an edition of the classic From Here to Eternity
that restores "explicit mentions of gay sex and a number of four-letter words" that were deleted by his publisher, Scribner, when the book was originally published in 1951, according to the New York Times
James had fought the censorship, arguing to his editor that "the things we change in this book for proprietary's sake will in five years, or ten years, come in someone else's book anyway."
Incidentally there is no truth to the rumor that the novel's title will revert to From Here to Freakin' Eternity
WANT: As part of Milan Design Week, Venice designer
Kostas Syrtariotis presented BookTree
(Hilarious) book trailer of the day: Got Milf?: The Modern Mom's Guide to Feeling Fabulous, Looking Great, and Rocking a Minivan by Sarah Maizes (Berkley).
Allan Wolfe, former East Coast regional sales manager for Penguin, passed
away on Saturday, April 2. Wolfe began his publishing career with New American
Library in 1975. He continued to work in
sales after the company merged with Penguin Group USA in 1986 and retired in
2004 after 29 years of service.
Larry Norton has joined INscribe Digital, which offers global digital distribution, content conversion and optimization services via ONE Digital, and will be in charge of content and client acquisition. He was most recently senior v-p of merchandising and distribution at Borders. Before joining Borders in 2009, he had been president of Larry Norton & Associates and earlier held senior sales positions at Simon & Schuster for 13 years and at William Morrow for 12 years.
Norton's boss is Anne Kubek, who joined INscribe Digital in February and had hired Norton at Borders.