Notes: Buyer for Willow Glen Books; Kids Otter Read Day
The imminent demise of Willow Glen Books, San Jose, Calif., may have been greatly exaggerated after all. The Mercury News reported that just when owner Cathy Adkins "thought she was going to have to shutter her beloved Willow Glen Books, another sad victim of the rocky economy, a last-minute offer appeared."
"Yay! I'm so thankful that I don't have to turn out the lights and go home," said Adkins. "This is a great thing for me and a great thing for the community. Willow Glen would have a big hole in it without us."
Adkins was in the process of "selling off everything from the lighting fixtures to the bookshelves and sadly bidding farewell to her loyal customers. Then, in a plot twist worthy of Dickens, a buyer appeared. Roland A. Vierra, who runs a flooring business, now seems poised to save the day, pending completion of the sale later this week," according to the Mercury News.
"I have spent a lot of my life in this neighborhood and I just can't imagine Willow Glen without this store," said Vierra. "Willow Glen deserves an independent bookstore and San Jose needs one. This is it. . . . You're never going to get rich selling books, but this isn't about the money. It's always been a secret dream of mine to own a bookstore, so this is a golden opportunity."
Cool idea of the day: This Saturday, May 16, is Kids Otter Read Day Around the Bay, during which more than 50 authors and illustrators will share their creativity and love of children's literature at 12 independent bookstores. The free celebration is sponsored by the Northern California Children's Booksellers Association. In addition to fun and educational activities for all ages, four literacy grant winners will be announced after the event.
Participating bookstores include Laurel Bookstore, Oakland; Hicklebee's, San Jose; Books Inc. shops in Palo Alto, Alameda and in the Marina, San Francisco; The Storyteller, Lafayette; Clayton Books, Alameda; Cover to Cover, San Francisco; Towne Center Books, Pleasanton; Copperfield's, Napa; Linden Tree, Los Altos; and Book Passage, Corte Madera.
You can now add pigeon care to the long list of bookseller duties at John K. King Bookstore, Detroit, Mich. The Free Press reported that Pigy, who is "prettier than your usual Detroit street pigeon" and banded on both legs, "showed up a week ago, lame, in the parking lot of the big bookstore on West Lafayette just outside downtown. King and his staff have been nursing her since."
"Now I know why they call these things carrier pigeons," said King. "I've got to carry it all over the place."
Tough bookstore love in Singapore.
In the Straits Times, Loh Keng Fatt observed, "I have always wondered why bookshops operate on a model that literally allows customers the full run of the place--and with little prospects of many of them actually buying something. . . . Do you see folks at furniture stores sprawled on sofas or pulling out drawers with gusto to check out the cupboards?"
He suggested "levying an admission fee--to get the right type of people to come. . . . I think they should charge, say, a $2 admission charge.This would help the bookshops to earn some income and deter some freeloaders from showing up. But the fee would be refundable if you buy anything."
HarperCollins will publish a memoir by Alaska governor and former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. The Associated Press reported that the as-yet untitled book "comes out in Spring 2010--the year she is up for re-election."
"There's been so much written about and spoken about in the mainstream media and in the anonymous blogosphere world, that this will be a wonderful, refreshing chance for me to get to tell my story, that a lot of people have asked about, unfiltered," said Palin.
According to the AP, Palin's memoir "will be co-released by the HarperCollins imprint Harper and, for the Christian market, by the HarperCollins-owned Zondervan."
Sony U.K. will sponsor the Guardian Hay Festival this month, "aiming to steal a march on Amazon's Kindle in a battle of the e-book," according to the Guardian. The Sony Reader "will be the first consumer electronics sponsor of the 22-year-old festival. . . . Sony is aiming to win over the 120,000-plus visitors to the literary and arts festival."
Stairways to library heaven. The New Yorker's Book Bench blog linked to a Chronicle of Higher Education piece featuring beautiful photographs of winding library staircases.