Books-A-Million is opening a store in the Walnut Square Mall in Dalton, Ga., because of Charlie McClurg, a nine-year-old third-grader who organized a letter-writing campaign directed at BAM chairman, president and CEO Clyde Anderson, according to the Dalton Daily Citizen.
Anderson made the store opening announcement last Friday at Charlie's school and brought the 500 letters sent by schoolchildren in Dalton. "Y'all really wore me down, and I've just come to tell you and all of the class we are going to open a store in the mall here," Anderson said. "And we hope to even have it open even before Christmas. So thank you for doing that, we're excited about it." He called Charlie "a very persuasive letter-writer" and said the company had not planned to open a store in Dalton before receiving the letters.
Charlie became familiar with Books-A-Million stores in nearby Chattanooga, Tenn., and in Florence, Ala., where his grandparents live.
Joe Dionne, a New Hampshire native who worked for the past decade in Seattle as Amazon.com's bargain book and calendar buyer, is opening J.A.D. Mercantile, a bargain book and local goods shop, in South Berwick, Maine, according to Foster's Daily Democrat.
Besides bargain books, the store will sell children's toys and gifts, candles, soaps and lotions made in the area and a variety of green products. Dionne earlier worked at the late Lauriat's Books as a regional manager, buyer and director of merchandise.
Dionne called owning a bookstore "a lifelong dream" and said he wanted to make his store a community resource and destination. "There's always going to be a need for what I call 'flesh and blood' books because there's still a certain type of person still wanting a book in their hands," he told the paper.
Blue Kangaroo Books, the Danville, Ill., children's bookstore that opened in 2002, is closing by the end of the year, the Danville Commercial-News reported. Julie Rudolph, who bought the business and building in 2006, said that sales had been difficult the past two years and wanted the store at least to pay for itself, which seems unlikely in the near future.
Rudolph said she would miss "the kids, my customers. I love being downtown. The best time of the retail children's store is the holidays. There's no better place."
On Demand Books has installed its first Espresso Book Machine in continental Europe: in the American Book Center in Amsterdam. Store director Lynn Kaplanian-Buller said, "We hope to facilitate self publishing in any language supported by graphic designers, copy editors, and other word-craft professionals from our local community."
There are two Espressos in London and 53 machines worldwide. No word yet on installation of an Espresso in Italy, the birthplace of the espresso machine and home of fine book printing.
The Lansing State Journal led cheers for the 50th anniversary of Student Book Store, East Lansing, Mich., the 25,000-sq.-ft. store that sells textbooks, supplies, Michigan State University-themed merchandise and more.
Founder Harold Ballein commented: "A lot of people ask what made us successful, but there was no one single thing. It was a lot of little things. You take care of the small things and a big thing results."
His son Brad said, "You can count on us to have what you need when you need it. That's our reputation."
Eight members of the Ballein family work at SBS and aim to be around for many more years: the store is competing online now and has a textbook rental program.
U must rd this!
The New York Times profiled Figment.com, a new website intended to be "a sort of literary Facebook for the teenage set," catering to young readers who want "to read and write and discover new content, but around the content itself," according to co-founder Jacob Lewis, who formerly worked at Portfolio, one of the magazines Conde Nast closed last year.
The other founder is Dana Goodyear, a staff writer for the New Yorker, who two years ago wrote about young Japanese women who were writing fiction on their cell phones, "the first literary genre to emerge from the cellular age."
Figment.com is "a free platform for young people to read and write fiction, both on their computers and on their cellphones. Users are invited to write novels, short stories and poems, collaborate with other writers and give and receive feedback on the work posted on the site," the Times wrote.
The site is offering publishers the ability to showcase material. For example, Running Press Kids is running an excerpt from Purple Daze by Sherry Shahan, a historical novel for teens.
Our latest list of best of the year lists:
The New Yorker offers its reviewers' favorite titles from 2010.
The Head Butler's top 10 great books of the year, a mix of some very familiar titles and some hidden in the pantry.
In her weekly "from the editor's desk" section, bibliobuffet.com editor in chief Lauren Roberts is offering detailed, thoughtful literary gift suggestions for booklovers and readers. Check the archives for the last two weeks of columns.
Indie booksellers in St. Louis, Mo., shared their 2010 picks for "Big Seller, Personal Favorite and Local Pick" with the Post-Dispatch. The participating booksellers were Vicki Erwin of Main Street Books, who said that "this should be so easy and yet it's very difficult"; Nikki Furrer of Pudd'nhead Books, Kris Kleindienst of Left Bank Books and Kelly von Plonski of Subterranean Books.
Gift suggestions for job hunters. Forbes
recommended "10 Great Books for Career Changers," asking "why not put
together a forward-spinning gift basket of great books to jazz up her or
her own creative juices to make some changes, follow a passion to a new
career, or simply get that all-important money life in shape to retire
On NPR's Morning Edition, Nancy Pearl extended her holiday wishes to literary voyeurs with recommendations of her favorite memoirs this year.
What holiday season? The National Post
featured a counterintuitive "beach reads" list because "for many
Canadians, December is the unofficial start of second summer. If you
plan to take off for sunnier shores this season, consider packing these
books in your suitcase or downloading them to your e-reader."
Shop Aussie local. "It may be the busiest time of the year for book
sales but don't fall for the myth that everything is cheaper from an
offshore website," the Sydney Morning Herald
observed. "Seven out of the 10 books on the Australian bestsellers list
are cheaper if bought in an Australian bookshop or from a local online
retailer compared with ordering them from an overseas website."
On her blog, Siobhan Fallon recounted a dinner with NCIBA booksellers during the show in October, where she seemed to have a good time: the headline of her latest post is "Indie Bookstores, I Love You."
She wrote: "These strangers that I had just shared garlic fries and steak bites with already felt like friends. Which is why we all love independent book stores, isn't it? That feeling of welcome when we push open the door, the personal touches, the conversation and eye contact that these true book lovers bring to their stores every day. They press books into the palms of their faithful readers, saying things like, 'I know you will just adore this book.' And we trust them, we read their recommendations, we tell our friends.
"And we authors, well, we are so grateful for all that they do."
Fallon's first book, You Know When the Men Are Gone, is being published by Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam in January.
Gooseberry Patch, Columbus, Ohio, which publishes 12-14 collectible titles a year consisting of recipes submitted by cooks around the country, has an unlikely, scary new claim to fame: the company is mentioned on page 292 of Stephen King's new Full Dark, No Stars. In the story "A Good Marriage," the main character Darcy searches frantically through a box. King wrote: "She was thumbing as she was thinking, now a quarter of the way down in the stack, and beneath Gooseberry Patch (country décor), she came to something that wasn't a catalogue."
Gooseberry Patch co-founder Vickie Hutchins commented: "Now that our cookbooks are available as e-books, perhaps Mr. King can work us in the next time a character is using an e-reader!"
David Sweeney has been promoted at HarperCollins to v-p, special markets, responsible for mail order, retail, wholesale and premium and will lead the premium sales team. He recently established new business with flash e-retailers such as Gilt, One King's Lane and Haute Look while maintaining relationships with accounts such as Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Scholastic and T.J. Maxx/Marshalls.