Notes: B&N, Bucknell Go Downtown; Red Wheel/Weiser Hampton
Like several other schools in recent years, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pa., is moving its bookstore off campus to a nearby downtown location. As part of the deal, it has contracted with Barnes & Noble to manage its bookselling operations as well as to design the new 29,000-sq.-ft. store that will open in 2010.
Effective June 1, B&N takes over management of Bucknell's current on-campus store. When the new store opens, that space will be devoted to other uses. Under the agreement, current University store staff will be retained "at similar compensation levels."
The new store will cost about $9 million; two-thirds of that cost will be paid for by the commonwealth of Pennsylvania as part of its economic development fund for investment in small towns. The new store will stock books, magazines, emblematic sportswear, CDs and DVDs and have a café and spaces for literary and artistic performances. The bookstore will be open seven days a week and have longer hours than the current campus bookstore.
Other schools that have downtown bookstores include Old Dominion, Colgate, Wilkes University and King's College.
The decline and fall of Richard and Judy.
Once touted as Britain's bookselling equivalent of Oprah, Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan reached the end of their ignoble fall from the top recently when their "digital channel chatshow was axed," the Daily Mail reported. The "couple's decision to move their programme from Channel 4, where it attracted a peak audience of 3 million, to the fledgling digital channel Watch last October backfired spectacularly, with audience numbers sinking from an initial 100,000 to as low as 8,000."
The first Narwhal Awards, created this week by George Braziller "to recognize booksellers, agents, publishers, and other industry folk who are doing something unique during these allegedly difficult times," goes to Readers' Books, Sonoma, Calif., for making "an unusual addition to its shelves--organic eggs." The store has been selling eggs from the owners' family farm and will add vegetables and preserves this fall (Shelf Awareness, February 11, 2009).
Readers' Books co-owner Lilla Weinberger said the store is "proud if somewhat bemused" by the distinction.
The Connecticut Post opened a piece on some of the state's great independent bookstores with a quotation from Jerry Seinfeld: "A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking."
Among the bookshops: Just Books, Greenwich ("We try to feature books that you might not have heard of unless you came here," said owner Marion Holmes); Books on the Common, Ridgefield ("We have a wonderful, educated, well-read staff," said co-owner Ellen Burns); Books by the Falls Rare Books, Derby; RJ Julia Booksellers, Madison (owner Roxanne Coady called her staff "a discerning filter to the blistering number of books that are published").
Also featured were Hickory Stick Bookshop, Washington; Rainy Day Paperback Exchange, Bethel; Paperback Exchange, Brookfield; Linda's Story Time, Monroe (the Post noted that "the store boasts a staff of kid-lit experts, including owner Linda Devlin. 'I know these books inside and out,' she said"); the Bank Street Book Nook, New Milford; and Rainy Faye Bookstore, Bridgeport.
Does Anthony Zuiker's Level 26 mark the "origin of the 'digi-novel?'" USA Today reported that the "creator of the hit TV series CSI and its two spinoffs says his new multimedia 'digi-novel' will launch a 'revolution in publishing for the YouTube generation.'"
Level 26: Dark Origins, which is scheduled to be published by Dutton September 8, is the first in a series written with Duane Swierczynski "in which each book will be supplemented with 20 videos, or 'cyber-bridges,' featuring actors playing characters from the novel," according to USA Today.
Effective June 1, Red Wheel/Weiser will distribute Hampton Roads Publishing Company--and the two companies are beginning a joint operating agreement.
The two houses are combining forces "for several back office functions--eliminating duplication on the operations, accounting, and production side," according to Red Wheel president Michael Kerber.
The two will also work "cooperatively to edit, design, and produce books, although our acquisitions teams will operate independently," Red Wheel publisher Jan Johnson said. "We're creating a space and a team where two publishing houses can come together to produce and sell their books more efficiently than either of us could do alone."
The combined team will operate primarily from Red Wheel's offices in Newburyport, Mass., and San Francisco, Calif. Greg Brandenburgh will oversee Hampton Roads.
Red Wheel/Weiser Hampton Roads will publish 75 titles annually. Imprints include Red Wheel/Weiser's Weiser Books and Conari Press. Distribution clients include Nicolas Hays, Ibis Press, Connections Book Publishing Company, Moment Point Press, Skinner House, Namaste Publishing, the Witches' Almanac and Hierophant.