The children's bookseller so wonderfully remembered by Deirdre Foley-Mendelssohn in the New Yorker (Shelf Awareness, June 9, 2010), "a short black-haired woman who had read everything and could, if I told her some books I liked, recommend a new one to me--inevitably a more obscure but equally good one--with seemingly magical accuracy, the way that other adults enjoy pulling quarters out of kids' ears," is Ga Lombard, head children's buyer at Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Calif.
Lombard has been with the store for 32 years. Owner Casey Coonerty Protti proudly said that she is "one of the best handsellers of all time and has now helped multiple generations of young readers."
Cuts continue at Borders Group, which has apparently let go all merchandisers and regional managers for its Paperchase stores and sections in Borders superstores. (There are 337 locations in the U.S. and 93 abroad.) According to an AP story, Borders said it is "handing the merchandising duties over to its stores, which it says have a better understanding of what their customers want."
The cuts at Borders' stationery company, which has generally had solid results, come less than a month after Vector Group's Bennett S. LeBow invested $25 million in the company and became chairman (Shelf Awareness, June 3, 2010).
The new Bucknell University Bookstore in downtown Lewisburg, Pa., operated by Barnes & Noble, opens on Saturday, June 26, "after the Fourth of July Parade," according to the university. (Go figure on the Independence Day timing.) A grand opening will take place August 27, during the first week of fall classes.
The 29,500-sq.-ft. store in a historic, restored building features books, magazines, sportswear, a children's section, a gathering area for performances and community meetings and a Starbucks cafe. The building also has a 68-ft.-long skylight over a three-story atrium and boasts the first escalators ever installed in Union County.
The new store replaces a 12,500-sq.-ft. bookstore that had been in the Elaine Langone Center on campus.
A shuttle service for students between the campus and store will begin in August. Students will have the option of ordering textbooks online and having them delivered to the Bucknell post office for pickup on campus.
Most of the funding for the $10-million bookstore came from state and federal grants and incentives for small-town economic development projects.
Amazon.com spent $540,000 in the first quarter lobbying the federal government, up 46% over the same period last year, the AP reported. It also spent $570,000 on federal lobbying in the last quarter of 2009.
The main subjects Amazon lobbied about were online sales taxes, net neutrality, digital product competition and organized retail crime.
Cool idea of the day: to help celebrate its 20th anniversary, R.J. Julia, Madison, Conn., will distribute more than 15,000 books donated by Penguin, Hachette and Random House to all K-8 schools in New Haven. The store is asking for customers' help sorting the books, loading them on trucks, distribution--and the use of two or three trucks! The distribution of the books will take place June 21. Sorting and loading takes place before then.
To help, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call Stephanie at 203-245-3959.
The summer issue of Adventures NW magazine, the quarterly that is now in its fifth year, features several book world-connected contributions:
A piece by Chuck Robinson, co-owner of Village Books, Bellingham, Wash., who in "(Biking) Life Begins at 60," wrote about his rekindled love for cycling.
A story called "A Wheelman's Passing" by David V. Herlihy, author of The Lost Cyclist: The Epic Tale of an American Adventurer and His Mysterious Disappearance, published this month by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. "A Wheelman's Passing" is about cyclist Frank G. Lenz's passage through the Pacific Northwest in 1892.
Among other stories that have appeared in past issues, in the summer of 2006 Algonquin's Craig Popelars wrote "Caught in Lance's Cycle," about his admiration for Lance Armstrong.
Part of the bookish slant is understandable: Adventures NW founder and co-owner Paul Haskins is a 17-year veteran of Village Books, and co-owner and managing editor Alaine Borgias was a bookseller and events, marketing and publications coordinator at Village Books for many years, too, as well as a former marketing associate at Unbridled Books.
Borgias noted, by the way, that not every article is about cycling!
Yale University Press is launching Jewish Lives, a series of biographies, in conjunction with the Leon D. Black Foundation. The titles aim to "pair subjects and authors to elicit lively, deeply informed books that explore the breadth and complexity of Jewish experience from antiquity through the present."
The first title is Sarah: The Life of Sarah Bernhardt by Robert Gottlieb, to be published in October. In November, the press will publish Shmuel Feiner's Moses Mendelssohn: Sage of Modernity, and in February 2011 Steven Weitzman's Solomon. After those, new titles will include Rashi by Jack Miles, Kafka by Saul Friedlander, Leonard Bernstein by Allen Shawn, Sigmund Freud by Adam Phillips, Bob Dylan by Ron Rosenbaum, Maimonides by Moshe Halbertal, Emma Goldman by Vivian Gornick and Hank Greenberg by Mark Kurlansky. The press aims to publish at least 50 titles in the series in the next decade.
The 92nd Street Y in New York City will produce bi-annual Jewish Lives events in conjunction with the series. The first takes place on December 1 and features Robert Gottlieb in conversation with Judith Thurman on the life of Sarah Bernhardt. The second will be held on April 5, 2011, and features Mark Kurlansky in conversation with David Margolick on the life of Hank Greenberg, the first Jewish baseball player elected to the Hall of Fame.
Series editors are historians Anita Shapira of Tel Aviv University and Steven J. Zipperstein of Stanford University. Yale University Press's Ileene Smith serves as editorial director.
Diane Garrett was told she was crazy when she decided to
open Diane's Books
in 1990 because central Greenwich, Conn., had seven indie bookstores at
the time. "Her store is the last one standing," Greenwich Time reported.
Books will celebrate its 20th anniversary in November. Garrett chose to
open a family bookstore rather than a children's bookstore because she
wanted "to serve her customers from childhood to adulthood. However,
Garrett likes to focus on her younger customers. Walking through the
stacks of books lined on shelves, tables and along the floor, she said
children are the reason that she's in business," Greenwich Time
"I want to light their imagination on fire," she said.
Stephanie Anderson, manager of WORD bookstore,
Brooklyn, N.Y., shared a summer reading memory with the Los Angeles Times
Jacket Copy blog: "I clearly remember reading The
Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway the summer before I started high school. It was the
assigned summer reading for my English class. It was the first time I
ever really hated a book! I remember being really annoyed by it and
complaining about it a lot.... It was freeing to realize that I could
dislike important books and that it was even fun to do so. The Old
Man and the Sea was the book that changed me from being a passive,
though voracious, consumer of books into an active reader who got
involved with the whole shebang, for better or for worse."
later reread Hemingway's novel and, on her second try, "I loved it. I
read it all in one sitting. I've since read it a third time and still
love it. I just pulled it off the shelf again to write this and got
caught in it again."
Editors at the Wilson Quarterly shared "a few bookstores
where we would happily while away our summer days," including Phoenix
Books, Lambertville, N.J.; the Dickson Street Bookshop, Fayetteville,
Ark.; the Montclair Book Center, Montclair, N.J.; and the Seminary
Co-op, Chicago, Ill.
Are there lessons book publishers
can learn from the film and music industry? At Forbes.com, Chip O'Brien suggested that
"e-publishing doesn't have to bring an end to traditional paper books,
or spin its wheels trying to translate the paper book model into a far
different space. Instead of trying to understand e-books within the
space of the old paper-and-binding universe, we should examine the media
that survived the first wave of the distribution revolution: movies and
O'Brien offered five options publishers might consider
and observed that this "is the exact wrong time in history to fret about
the imminent death of reading--e-readers have the power to transform
books into far richer, far more interactive experiences than ever
before. Instead of deriding the eBook as a profit-killer, why not unite
our old ideas of reading alone in quiet rooms with the vast potential
created by new technology? Let's re-imagine what books can become."
trailer of the day: The Beaufort Diaries by T Cooper,
illustrated by Alex Petrowsky (Melville House), which will be released