Although August back-to-school sales figures are reportedly disappointing, general retailers have one thing to look forward to this fall: monthly sales figures, which are compared to the same period a year earlier, will now look somewhat better because they will reflect the economic slide that started in retail last fall. Still, as the New York Times pointed out, "The numbers should not be interpreted to mean retailing has regained all the ground it lost during the most severe recession of modern times. Retailers are still billions of dollars below the high point of sales that they reached during the boom. While the economy has begun to show signs of improvement, a continuing reluctance to spend on the part of consumers could serve as a major drag on the recovery."
Infobase Publishing has bought the World Almanac imprint from Weekly Reader Publishing Group. The unit's chief property, The World Almanac and Book of Facts, has sold more than 80 million copies. The imprint includes The World Almanac for Kids and The World Almanac Book of Records.
Infobase Publishing is an educational media company that owns Facts on File, Films for the Humanities & Sciences, Cambridge Educational, Chelsea House, Bloom's Literary Criticism and Ferguson Publishing, among others. Infobase is owned by private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson.
Good news from Green Apple Books, San Francisco, Calif. (our editor-in-chief's sister's favorite bookstore in the world): the 10-year buyout of founder Rich Savoy by the team of Kevin Ryan, Kevin Hunsanger and Pete Mulvihill has been completed, Mulvihill reported on the store's blog. In addition, the store has signed a 10-year lease on its two buildings.
Congratulations to Osondu Booksellers, Waynesville, N.C., which celebrated its fifth birthday yesterday! The store is owned by Margaret Osondu.
Editor's bookshelf. We want to put in a plug for an ARC we grabbed from the stream coming in the front door: Stardust by Joseph Kanon, which is coming out September 29 (Atria, $27.95, 9781439156148/143915614X). By the author of The Good German, Los Alamos, Alibi and The Prodigal Spy and the one-time head of Houghton Mifflin and E.P. Dutton, Stardust is set in 1945 in Los Angeles. It's about the movie business, the beginnings of the Red Scare, German emigres (Bertolt Brecht has a few lines, Thomas Mann keeps his distance), a murder mystery, the dreamworld of Hollywood and the dreamworld of real life. It's a great book with a great ending and has a noir feel that makes the most of its surreal setting. We can't wait for the movie!
Black Fork Bookstore, Shelby, Ohio, is "a dream come true" for owner Sheryl Potts, who told the Mansfield News Journal
that she "always pictured myself opening a little, hippie bookstore for
as long as I can remember. I've been a huge reader all my life. I love
books, so I've been collecting them for about 10 years."
bookstore opened July 10 in a space that was heavily damaged by floods
in 2007. "The reason we got it so cheap was because of how much of a
mess it was," said Potts. "This is a place for people to come and be
together. We want them to have fun, shop and be introduced to some
culture in Shelby."
"Books are whispers of the past heard well into the future," Keri Douglas observed in an Ode profile of Lydia Hakizimana, who opened Drakkar Ltd. bookstore in Kigali, Rwanda, three years ago.
noted that with "the return to academics for many Rwandans, Lydia has a
created a welcome niche. However, though the genocide is over, the
lingering result is a collective ambition for survival, success and
deeper faith, which is reflected in Lydia's current recommended reading
- Introduction to Financial Accounting by Charles T. Hongren
- Macroeconomics by Blanchard, 2nd Edition, Study Guide and Tutorial
- Marketing Management by Philip Kotler
- Hannah by Paul-Loup Sulitzer
- A Thousand Hills: Rwanda's Rebirth and the Man Who Dreamed It by Stephen Kinzer
- Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust by Immaculee Iligagiza
Hakizimana's dream "is to open libraries in schools and hospitals throughout Rwanda to share the joy of reading," Douglas added.
Book trailer of the day: The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf.
and legendary musician Nick Cave "is sprinkling a little rock 'n' roll
glamour over publishing's latest front in the battle for readers, by
releasing an iPhone version of his new novel, The Death of Bunny Munro," the Guardian reported.
was perfect for this kind of thing," said Cave. "Being a musician as
well, I've been able to provide all sorts of other things to make it as
interesting an experience as possible to read this book on the iPhone.
. . . The strangest thing for me is that almost all musicians feel that
we are chasing the tail of something beyond our grasp with music
downloading and so on but, quite by accident, with the publishing of
this book I'm suddenly involved with something that is taking the bull
by the horns and that's quite exciting.
"I see the paper copy as
the real book. I sat down and wrote a novel, and that was difficult
enough in itself without considering what the music would be. However,
as a songwriter, I do have a naturally musical way of writing and [the
book] has lent itself well to being scored, musically. It is a unique
situation where you can write a novel and make music to it as well; it
can be a different way of taking in a piece of literature."