On Wednesday while discussing her new novel, State of Wonder, on the Diane Rehm Show (at about 1:46 in the audio), Ann Patchett spoke about the bookstore she's opening "by Christmas" with longtime Random House sales rep Karen Hayes in Nashville, Tenn., where the two main bookstores, a Davis-Kidd and a Borders, closed in the past six months.
"I don't know if I'm opening an ice shop in the age of Frigidaire," Patchett said. "But I can't live in a city that doesn't have a bookstore."
She added that the store will be about 3,000 square feet in size, a tenth of the size of the stores that closed. "It's kind of this model for what's gone on in our country in so many different ways," she said. "We just supersized. We got bigger and bigger and bigger, and we couldn't sustain it. We can't sustain a 30,000 sq.-ft. bookstore, but we really can sustain a 3,000 sq.-ft. store."
Good news! Morris Book Shop, in Lexington, Ky., which was founded three years ago (Shelf Awareness, February 15, 2008), is moving and expanding this fall. Its new location will be 882 E. High Street in the Chevy Chase shopping district, which is closer to the center of Lexington and the University of Kentucky campus. The area also has plenty of pedestrian and bike traffic, and stores stay open later in the evening than in other parts of Lexington.
The current store is about 1,700 square feet and the new space is about 1,000 square feet larger, allowing more room for "merchandising our books and for special events," owner Wyn Morris said. The store will expand its children's and Kentuckyiana book sections and will have a small meeting room for book clubs and for other events.
Morris Book Shop will continue its involvement in public events and fundraisers. Manager Hap Houlihan said, "There's a new business paradigm that we really like: it's better to see other businesses and organizations as potential partners, rather than as potential competitors." Morris and Houlihan are founding members of Local First Lexington.
Congratulations to Bob Greene, owner of BookPeople, Moscow, Idaho, for the last 30 years! In his honor and to celebrate his retirement (he and his wife are moving to Portland, Ore., to be near family), tomorrow is officially Bob Greene Day in Moscow. Mayor Nancy Chaney cited Greene, among other things, for being "a fiercely independent businessman," for his "passion for books and literature [that have] made BookPeople a destination for those who share his love for the printed word, bringing the literary community together by exchanging news and putting people in touch with each other"; for being "a champion of the community, education, the arts and locally owned and operated businesses"; for his "hospitality"; for supporting local artists and authors, "in many cases by being the first business to display and carry their works"; and his "unerring ability to meet the needs of his customers, either by finding the right book in his store or working tirelessly to obtain it from outside sources."
"Bob Vila with an MFA" was how the New York Times Home & Garden section described author/contractor Tom McNeal's narrative voice in a recent article about the home he shares with his wife, YA author Laura McNeal, in Fallbrook, Calif. Their house was described as "the architectural equivalent of a carefully crafted novel: well constructed, inviting, with a few surprise twists. Like the secret rooms."
Tom--whose second novel, To Be Sung Underwater, was published last week by Little, Brown--was a graduate student at the University of California, Irvine, "when he took his share of a small inheritance and started a general contracting firm that builds and manages rental properties. The steady income from the business, and the measure of freedom that comes with self-employment, allowed him to carve out some time for writing," the Times wrote.
"Contemporary short novels for your summer reading pleasure" were suggested by Flavorwire, which noted that the choices include "a wide variety of stories and styles, including many entries from small, indie presses.... Best of all, since these are all short novels, you'll be able to peel through a bunch of them fairly quickly and have a fine sense of accomplishment at the end."
In I am Number Four, what is the name of John Smith's dog? The Guardian tests whether you can "sniff out the right answers in our jaw-gnashingly difficult canine quiz? Test your knowledge of tails in tales and find out if you're top dog in the pack."
Flavorwire's list of "10 controversial couples in literature" showcased "works of literature that feature transgressive love? The categories are as follows: Age difference, racial difference, star-crossing, class mixing, same-sex relationships, extramarital affairs, and our favorite: sibling love."
Bookish furniture of the day: Coffee table made with Penguin paperbacks.
Book trailer of the day: the "Carolyn Parkhurst Collection" for The Nobodies Album (Anchor). And a related site with Carolyn Parkhurst gifts, including our favorite, the "Just Buy the Damn Book Already" mug.
Effective with the fall list, Raincoast Book Distribution, Vancouver, B.C., will handle sales, fulfillment and marketing for most Macmillan imprints in Canada to independent bookstores, libraries, specialty markets and Costco Canada. Farrar, Straus & Giroux will continue to be sold in Canada by Douglas & McIntyre.
H.B. Fenn and Co. had distributed the lines that Raincoast will distribute. Fenn filed for bankruptcy earlier this year and has since lost the Hachette Book Group to Canadian Manda Group (Shelf Awareness, March 3, 2011).
Macmillan books will be available to ship from Raincoast in early July. Larger Raincoast accounts in eastern Canada will receive Macmillan books directly from the company's Gordonsville, Va., warehouses, although Raincoast will handle sales, billing and customer service on those shipments.
Macmillan will work directly with Canada's seven ID wholesalers as well as CMMI, the ID consortium, on all its books--it had worked with them directly on mass market titles for years. The company is a direct vendor with Indigo and soon will be with Amazon.com's Canadian operations. "Raincoast will handle the rest of the market and will also do our marketing and publicity in Canada for the entire market," said Alison Lazarus, president of Macmillan's sales division.