A bookstore may yet be in business at the former Davis-Kidd location in East Memphis. The Commercial Appeal reported that a new group, including Joseph-Beth founder Neil Van Uum, reached a tentative agreement with liquidator Gordon Brothers Retail Partners and the debtors to keep the store open. According to a document filed yesterday in bankruptcy court, DK Booksellers "has agreed to purchase substantially all assets at the Memphis location from either the Debtors or GBRP, as applicable and to continue operations as a bookstore at the Memphis location."
The deal "still must weather possible twists and turns" of today's bankruptcy court hearing in Lexington, Ky., to approve last week's auction results, the Commercial Appeal noted, and the sale does not include trade names and trademarks, including rights to the name "Davis-Kidd," which was purchased last week by Booksellers Enterprises with the three Joseph-Beth locations in Lexington, Cleveland and Cincinnati (Shelf Awareness, April 21, 2011).
The document also does not specify whether Van Uum's group includes Tom Prewitt, president and an owner of Laurelwood Shopping Center, where Davis-Kidd was located. Prewitt was part of Van Uum's bidding group at the bankruptcy auction last week.
Earlier yesterday, the Commercial Appeal had reported that negotiations
between Booksellers Enterprises and Laurelwood Shopping Center ended
without a deal Monday. "We had indicated what our proposal would be through Mr. Prewitt's agent and we received a response there'd be no need for a conference call," said Gary Barr, Booksellers Enterprises lawyer. "And the successful purchaser of the Joseph-Beth locations and the Davis-Kidd name do not appear to be likely tenants at the Laurelwood mall."
"Joseph-Beth's lesson" was the headline for a Lexington Herald-Leader
editorial that expressed sadness the bookstore "that became an
institution in Lexington, that somehow helped us maintain our faith in
reading, that was our own, would no longer be owned and operated by the
man behind that improbable story," but also relief because "the
bookstore would survive, and with it the unique retail ecosystem at
Most of the Lexington Green Mall stores are
either local or independent. Michael Stutland, owner of two Artique
shops, said he couldn't imagine life without the mall's anchor
bookstore. "I don't even want to try to guess what that picture might be
like. What Joseph-Beth brings to this community is a signature local
business that is special and vital."
The editorial concluded
that "if Lexington's downtown is ever to be a thriving retail center
again, it will be built largely around locally owned businesses.
Economic development is always hard, and certainly more so now.
Achieving it by encouraging and sustaining a host of local businesses is
even harder. But in the end, locally driven development will be more
enduring, and more defining. Bookstores are about knowledge, so let's
remember at least that one lesson from the auction of Joseph-Beth."
Amazon has asked a federal judge in San Francisco to throw out Apple's trademark suit accusing Amazon of unfair use of the "App Store" trademark (Shelf Awareness, March 23, 2011), "calling the phrase 'app store' generic and not something that Apple can claim for its exclusive use," GeekWire reported.
In Monday's filing, Amazon cited comments by Steve Jobs last fall during Apple's quarterly conference call, contending he "referred repeatedly to 'app stores' in a generic sense: while criticizing the fragmentation of Google's Android platform," GeekWire noted, adding that since "filing the lawsuit against Amazon, Apple has asked the court to move on an accelerated schedule to impose a preliminary injunction barring Amazon from using the Appstore name. The court has yet to rule on that request, which Amazon opposes."
In a development that could be filed under "when it rains it pours," Borders Group is investigating whether customers' personal data was exposed on a website that apparently contained information about its Borders Rewards loyalty program, which has 41 million members.
AnnArbor.com reported that the website "was apparently set up by a marketing firm called Brierley & Partners, which helped Borders design and implement Borders Rewards.... The blog run by Borders workers and ex-employees published a post Saturday about the website that may have contained the Borders Rewards information."
Borders spokeswoman Mary Davis confirmed the website was taken offline and is "no longer accessible externally. We take the security of our members' information very seriously and are currently investigating the situation."
"Is stodgy old Barnes and Noble cooler than Amazon?" asked Michael Humphrey in a Forbes piece that also wondered: "How did this happen? How did a stodgy company that started selling paper books in 1917 seize the excitement factor in e-books over a company that is 16 years old? That's like your great grandpa out-shredding you on his vintage Gibson. It's like Cher stealing Russell Brand from Katy Perry. No wait, it's like Phyllis Diller stealing Brand... she was born in 1917.
"Maybe the answer is that e-readers just don't need to be cool. With the iPad, et al. absorbing much of the cool factor--e-books being an afterthought for them--Kindle doesn't need to be any more than a book of many books. But I wonder if the Nook would have ever found a niche in the e-book market if Amazon locked it down with some innovative bells and whistles."
An alliance of bricks-and-mortar book retailers, including state-owned Xinhua bookstores, criticized Chinese online retailer Dangdang.com's decision to celebrate its fourth birthday with a 65%-off book sales promotion. Dangdang.com was accused of dumping books at artificially low prices, Penn Olson reported, adding that "the formation of such an alliance--which the retailers are describing as an 'anti-dumping union'--suggests that litigation might be in the pipeline, since the dumping of goods in a market in this way is in breach of anti-unfair competition laws."
Daniel Radcliffe had a say in whether an eighth book in the Harry Potter series would be written. According to USA Today, Radcliffe "frantically" fired off a late-night text to J.K. Rowling when he heard rumors about a new Potter book.
Radcliffe admitted he "was worried!... I said, 'Look, is this true? Are you writing another book?!' She wrote back that she was so pleased with my performance in Harry Potter 7: Part 1 that as a reward, she promised to never write another book about Harry."
Monday's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show featured some helpful non-reading suggestions from Fallon's "Do Not Read List" of real books "you should stay far, far away from," including Teach Your Wife How to Be a Widow.
Although National Poetry Month is almost over, it's still not too late to get in better poetic shape, according to the Smart Set's Kristen Hoggatt, who offered some poetry-themed exercise regimens, including: "Speed walk with a backpack carrying Norton’s Anthology, any edition published after 1992. Do this for 30 minutes."
Boing Boing was understandably impressed with Technovelgy.com's "wonderful rabbit hole of a 'Timeline of Science Fiction Ideas, Technology and Inventions,' sorted by publication date, rife with excerpts from the fiction, and linked to info about similar tech and inventors in the real world."
Flavorwire showcased "ten of our favorite retold stories. Some of the following plots are lifted from ancient myths, while others come from relatively new novels. All have put a new spin on familiar tales, but have been able to make them their own."
Revenge at last! While spending the last years of his life on the Samoan island of Upolu, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote a series of fairytales and fables he wanted to be published as a set. But Sidney Colvin, his literary agent, "asked Cassell to publish two of the fairy stories--'The Bottle Imp' and 'The Isle of Voices'--in a volume alongside a naturalistic short story of a completely different type," the Guardian reported. The stories will finally be published as originally intended in a volume of Fables and Fairy Tales due in 2013, as part of the New Edinburgh edition of Stevenson's works.
This week's international reports about the demise of the world's last typewriter manufacturer (Shelf Awareness, April 26, 2011) have, apparently, been greatly exaggerated. Gawker reported that the original story in India's Business Standard, about the closure of Godrej & Boyce in Mumbai "somehow came to mean that Godrej & Boyce was the last existing typewriter manufacturer in the world.... But rest easy, annoyingly hirsute hipster Luddites loitering at local cafes: The typewriter is alive and well."
Ed Michael, general manager of sales at Swintec, said the typewriter is "far from dead.... We have manufacturers making typewriters for us in China, Japan, Indonesia. We have contracts with correctional facilities in 43 states to supply clear typewriters for inmates so they can't hide contraband inside them."
Anyone still have a bottle of Liquid Paper?
Book trailer of the day: Abandon by Meg