Notes: Google Settlement Extension; A Walden Remembered
Google and the other parties to the Google book settlement have asked for another extension for modifying the agreement, until this coming Friday, the New York Times reported.
On the occasion of the bookstore's 30th anniversary, the Chicago Tribune profiled Women & Children First and has a long Q&A with founders and owners Linda Bubon and Ann Christophersen. The pair reminisce about the early days (Christophersen: "The store was much more focused then, less general literary fiction. But absolutely stores like this one helped expand the number of female authors out there.") and about major author appearances (Bubon: "We had Gloria Steinem too--the first time she came here, we had 800 people, lined up all the way to the shoe store down the block. We squeezed in 300, and she had to stand on a chair to talk. When that was over, we realized the people who couldn't come in were outside, so the next 300 people outside came in and she did the whole thing all over again for them."
Amazon has unveiled Kindle for PC, an app that allows PC owners to use the Kindle. The Kindle already has iPhone and iPod Touch apps.
On her Bookavore blog, Stephanie Anderson, manager of WORD bookstore, Brooklyn, N.Y., offers a heartfelt "obituary for a chain bookstore," the Waldenbooks in Montgomery Mall, East Wales, Pa., where she had her first bookstore job and learned many of the fundamentals of bookselling.
She benefited, she writes, from having had "a rogue manager. She ordered books from Koen when they weren't available at the Walden's warehouse. She ordered books directly from Arcadia, stacked them on a table at the entrance because there was no section in the store in which to shelve them, and got an award from the Home Office for increasing 'Local' sales by ridiculous amounts. She ignored mandated endcaps in order to keep a permanent endcap of her staff picks, which sold out the door in stacks. And she squished fiction to the side so that our receiver could have his own section. I think it was called 'Weird Reads'--it was my introduction to The Sandman and Palahniuk and House of Leaves before those all became cool."
Cool idea of the day: for The Christmas Cookie Club by Ann
Pearlman, a novel about a baker's dozen of women who meet the first
Monday in December, bring cookies and talk about their lives, Atria is
designating the first weekend in December as Christmas Cookie Weekend.
People are encouraged to host their own Christmas Cookie Clubs and
donate cookies to local charities. For more information, see the Facebook page created by Pearlman.
P.S. Bookshop, Brooklyn, N.Y., is moving to a larger space nearby. The Brooklyn Eagle reported that the used and rare bookstore, located at 145A Front Street in the borough's DUMBO neighborhood, "has signed a 10-year, two-month lease with Two Trees Management for the 2,138-square-foot corner retail space in the building at 70 Washington Street." The Eagle noted that owner Yuval Gans "expects that the shop will be moved into the new space by the end of December."
"Book tours are debilitating," wrote Bill Simmons, ESPN.com's Sports Guy and author of The Book of Basketball. Simmons shared some highlights and lowlights from his "11 signings in 11 days" tour, including an injury report: "My right thumb has swelled to 140 percent the size of my left thumb. My back is crumbling like blue cheese. My immune system might turn me into Patient X of Swine Flu 2.0 before everything's said and done. Even my BlackBerry mouse no longer can move to the right."
- "This happened at every signing: I'd be banging out signatures and talking to people when suddenly I'd hear the sound of a little kid either yelling or crying somewhere in line. A weird nature-type thing happened each time: The sound made me happy. What is it about being a parent that, if you're away from your kids for a few days, even the unhappy sounds of other people's kids make you happy? Bizarre."
- "In New York, I successfully signed a piece of raw veal with a Sharpie. The only thing that would have been tougher? Signing an oyster or a kidney."
- "More than a few readers were aspiring writers asking for advice. I always told them the same thing: 'Don't get discouraged; keep plugging away.' The truth is, I don't know the answer. Because there isn't one."
Citizen Matters profiled Select Book Shop, "Bangalore's iconic book store," and owner K.K.S. Murthy, who "recalled an interesting episode in Paris while he was working as a liaison officer at Turbomeca (a helicopter turbine designer and producer). His father had asked him to procure secondhand books from shops on the river Seine's banks and also a sample of his favourite author Katherine Mansfield's perfume."
On the Huffington Post, Richard Nash, former head of Soft Skull Press, argued against the decision by BookExpo America--apparently at the behest of publisher-exhibitors--not to open the trade show floor a few hours late in the afternoon on setup day for an industry party. For that matter, he also argued for opening BEA to the public for at least one day and scolded large houses for reducing their participation in the show.
A dozen "top" literary agents from New York were flown out and spent a day at Amazon.com headquarters in Seattle, Wash., where the e-tailer aimed to "explain itself" to agents, Crain's New York Business reported.
Amazon is "not entirely used to their role as the evil empire," one agent who attended told the paper. The company's message, he added: "They are not trying to destroy publishing as we know it."
Crain's wrote: "News of the meetings spread across the book publishing world last week, raising suspicions that Amazon might be trying to get agents on its side in the battle over e-book publication dates. Some in the publishing community, which is already nervous about what lies ahead as e-books take off, wondered whether Amazon might try to do an end-run around publishers and make direct e-book deals with major authors."
But agents have said Amazon has indicated it will not make deals directly. On the issue of pricing, Amazon and the agents "agreed to disagree," Crain's added.
The last of the four storefronts occupied by Harry W. Schwartz bookstores when the company went out of business earlier this year and not yet hosting a bookstore will be occupied by a Half Price Books outlet. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Half Price will move into the former Schwartz store in Brookfield, Wis., next summer.
The current Half Price store in Brookfield has 6,000 square feet of space. The former Schwartz store has 9,400 square feet of space.
The Columbia Spectator takes a look at tension between Book Culture, which just opened a new location on W. 114th St. in upper Manhattan, and some of its unionized members, mainly over pay and health care benefits.
We're very sad to report that author Donald Harington died last Saturday at the age of 73 after a long illness in Fayetteville, Ark.
All but one of his novels took place in the fictional Ozark town of Stay More. Born and raised in Little Rock, Ark., Harington taught for many years at the University of Arkansas. His titles are available from the Toby Press.
A longer obituary will follow.
When Words bookstore, Maplewood, N.J., put up a Veterans Day display in its front window last week, local resident Maxine Giannini contacted the store and offered copies of sketches that her late husband, Ugo Giannini, made when his unit landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944, Maplewood Patch wrote.
Words co-owner Jonah Zimiles called the drawings "stunning" and said he has had tremendous response.
David Leach has joined Greenleaf Book Group as director of book sales, a new position. He formerly worked at Thomas Nelson for 12 years, most recently as national key account manager, special sales. Greenleaf said that in addition to increasing sales of the company's list to existing and new accounts, Leach will oversee the improved integration of the distribution and marketing departments.