Bookstores in North America and U.K. held midnight parties and Saturday parties this past weekend for The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella by Stephenie Meyer. (See an unusual bookstore delivery method as depicted in the Telegraph.) Meyer recommended fans read the book before the film version of Eclipse appears June 30.
Anecdotal evidence pointed to slow sales in indies of the book, particularly compared to the Twilight series from which it was spun off. Undoubtedly sales were hurt because the book is available for reading online free beginning today and lasting through July 5.
Speaking of which, here is a trailer for Eclipse, unveiled at the MTV Movie Awards last night (via Deadline Holiday). The Awards also aired a trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Unusual news these days: on June 10, Borders is opening a 24,479-sq.-ft. store in Dedham, Mass., in the Legacy Place lifestyle complex. Grand opening celebrations are planned for the weekend of June 25-27.
Among other highlights, the store has a Seattle's Best Coffee cafe with free wi-fi, a Paperchase stationery shop, a Borders Teaching Zone for educators and a Borders Ink teen shop.
The first pick of Salon's new Reading Club is The Passage by Justin Cronin, "an apocalyptic epic with heart."
The New England Children's Booksellers Advisory Council's spring top 10 recommended middle grade and YA fiction titles can be found here.
Book trailer of the day: Termite Parade by Joshua Mohr (Two Dollar Radio), which steps off July 1.
Two thoughtful newspaper articles examine the effect of the electronic age and the Internet on how people think and read. On the front page of today's New York Times, a story called "Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price" includes this quick bit of information: "Scientists say juggling e-mail, phone calls and other incoming information can change how people think and behave. They say our ability to focus is being undermined by bursts of information.
"These play to a primitive impulse to respond to immediate opportunities and threats. The stimulation provokes excitement--a dopamine squirt--that researchers say can be addictive. In its absence, people feel bored."
As a kind of prelude to the Printers Row Lit Fest, the Chicago Tribune wrote, "Many people, regardless of age, are feeling nostalgic these days for book culture. It's a sort of prenostalgia, really, because books are still here--but their days seem numbered. Or do they?"
The paper quotes Nicholas Carr's The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains, just published by Norton: "The Net is chipping away my capacity for concentration and contemplation. Whether I'm online or not, my mind now expects to take in information the way the Net distributes it: in a swiftly moving stream of particles. Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski."
The Tribune continued: "The greatest loss, Carr says, is the ability to engage with a book, to read deeply. We have become a culture of 'chronic scatterbrains.' "
Paris enacted a planning strategy that "has commissioned town
planners to scout for premises in the fifth arrondissement that would
make suitable bookshops or small publishing houses and cultural venues.
The aim: to reverse a worrying trend which from 2000 to 2008 saw the
number of cherished librairies drop by 231 to 137," the Guardian reported.
"The Latin Quarter
remains the place in France with the highest density of literary and
intellectual education, production and publication... Yet the presence
of bookshops in the Latin Quarter is now under threat," said the city
hall in a mission statement. "Independent bookshops find themselves
faced with competition from new forms of selling, like supermarkets and
Mayor Bertrand Delanoë observed: "We are one of
the cities in the world with the biggest number of local shops, and
these local shops are the economy, employment, but it's also a way of
Summer reading recommendations continue to
appear, but the Tennessean offered a twist on the perennial
theme, suggesting readers "stroll used bookstores for a summer reading
list... Not only do you get a great price--usually about half of
retail--but it's also a wonderful way to build a library for yourself or
your children." Several Nashville area used bookshops were listed to
assist customers with their strolls.
To celebrate the
launch of the HarperWeekend imprint by HarperCollinsCanada, the Globe & Mail featured "four short essays
about the magic of Saturday, Sunday and good reading material."
for the World Cup with these books about soccer," the Vancouver Sun advised.
Shanghai Press and Publishing Development Company, which publishes English-language books about China, will be distributed in North America by Tuttle Publishing. Tuttle will also distribute some Shanghai Press titles in the U.K., Europe, South Africa, the Middle East and South America.
Shanghai's books are aimed at providing overseas readers a deeper understanding of China and its people and should appeal to both experts and non-experts. Among the 50 titles available this fall are A Dream of Red Mansions, paintings from the Qing Dynasty based on the classic Chinese novel; the Discovering China Series, which comprises titles on calligraphy, flowers, painting, tea and the ceramics of China; and modern Chinese literature, including Stories From Contemporary China, featuring three Shanghai writers.