Borders Group will name a potential buyer by July 1 and aims to complete a sale of the company as an ongoing business by the end of July, Reuters reported, citing a late Friday bankruptcy court filing. Borders said it was "encouraged" by negotiations with several entities, which have included private equity firms Gores Group and Najafi Cos. If the company cannot be sold in July, it said, "it will proceed with a sale to liquidators."
The rioting last Wednesday in Vancouver, B.C., following the loss of the Vancouver Canucks to the Boston Bruins nearly claimed a Chapters bookstore. According to CBC, rioters were chanting "burn the books" and tried to set the store on fire, but a group of about a dozen people held them back for 30 minutes until police arrived.
"It just seemed crazy to all of us, like it didn't make any sense, it just seemed insane," said artist Graham Peterson, one of the store's rescuers. "You're standing facing a crowd that's all shouting and yelling, especially the whole book-burning thing, that was crazy."
And Brennan Lloyd (pictured), another of the group who held the crowd back, told CBC: "It's really silly that people would get so passionate about such an arbitrary thing [like a hockey game] when there are so many other important things happening in society. It just seems like such a complete waste of human ingenuity and passion."
Owen Wilson, star of Woody Allen's new movie, Midnight in Paris, has apparently fallen not only for the City of Light but also for Shakespeare & Co., which appears in the movie.
Wilson told contactmusic.com: "I love Shakespeare & Company, which is the best bookstore in the world. I met the guy who owns it and he's, like, 97. People sleep there and I would love to have been a college student and gotten a job there and been able to sleep at the bookstore and look at these little sort of nooks all around.
"I was a good reader as a kid and an English major. Now it seems all I read is World War II-type books, so I made a New Year's resolution to try and read 10 classics. Now I'm reading Lolita, which I actually picked up in Paris at the Shakespeare & Company in paperback. It's pretty scandalous."
He added that he likes "the experience" of reading a physical book but is reading Lolita on his iPad.
Children's bookstore Butterfly Books, De Pere, Wis., is closing next month, according to the Green Bay Press-Gazette. Amy VandenPlas, owner of the 20-year-old store, said on the store's website: "We have loved being a part of the community, meeting you and sharing your love of books. Because of economic times, we can no longer provide the quality service and product you deserve."
Play by Play Theatre Bookstore, St. Paul, Minn., which opened in December 2009 (Shelf Awareness, July 30, 2009), is closing, Minnesota Public Radio reported. The store had to move earlier this year after the owner sold the building.
The store also had trouble drumming up sales despite the efforts of owner Kelly Schaub. One fan of the store, Leah Cooper, head of the Minnesota Theater Alliance, wrote that Schaub gave the store her all. She "was putting all kinds of stuff on the shelves hoping to widen her shopper base, she was pumping out the newsletters, and she was running every kind of discount offer any retailer has ever thought of. And she was inviting the community in for just about every kind of event they ever said they wanted: new play readings, lectures by exotic guest speakers, book signings, book clubs, workshops, parties, fundraisers, board meetings, forums, talk-backs, ... you name it."
Favorite headline of the day: "Go the F**k to Your Local Bookstore," from the Colorado Springs Independent.
Congratulations to Annie Philbrick and Patience Banister, who have been owners of Bank Square Books, Mystic, Conn., for five years. They're celebrating with a reception tomorrow at 6 p.m. at the store.
Congratulations, too, to Christin Evans and Praveen Madan, who have owned the Booksmith in San Francisco, Calif., for four years! Another anniversary for the store is on the horizon: the Haight Ashbury landmark was founded 35 years ago this October.
And last but not least, congratulations to Bradley Graham and Lissa Muscatine, who have officially become the owners of Politics & Prose, Washington, D.C. In an e-mail, they wrote in part:
"We have spent many hours in the past few months meeting with staff, chatting with customers and getting to know publishers, suppliers, community partners and others integral to the store's operation. (You might even have seen one of us manning the cash register now and then.) These experiences have only deepened our appreciation of the store and reinforced our feelings of optimism about its future. Politics and Prose has an unparalleled and exceptional staff, a fiercely devoted and loyal clientele and an industry of booksellers, writers, editors and publishers across the country who are not only supportive but deeply invested in P&P's success and longevity."
They continued: "We are fortunate to be able to continue to rely on our terrific staff and the former owners to provide advice and contributions. Barbara Meade has agreed to stay on part-time, during which she will still be ordering books for the store and writing for its publications. David Cohen will go on introducing speakers and contributing to newsletters. Additionally, to honor Carla Cohen's memory, we have joined with David and the Cohen family to establish two prizes in Carla's name, one for fiction, the other for nonfiction, intended to recognize accomplished writers who have not received the recognition they deserve."
E-book trailer of the day: On the Road by Jack Kerouac (Penguin Books), the "amplified edition," which includes family photographs, some never before published; clips of Kerouac reading parts of early drafts of the book; documentary footage of Beats talking Kerouac; parts of Kerouac's journals with notes about the novel; reproductions of the famous "scroll" manuscript as well as later manuscripts with Kerouac's and editors' changes; contemporaneous reviews; maps of the trips; biographies of Kerouac and his friends; tributes from Bob Dylan and John Updike; further reading; and, oh yes, the complete and annotated text of the original 1957 novel.
Speculation about J.K. Rowling's mysterious new Pottermore.com has been widespread and intense online since the website's debut last week (Shelf Awareness, June 16, 2011). Entertainment Weekly's Shelf Life blog noted that the "idea gaining the most traction is that Pottermore stands for 'Potter Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Experience,' a MMORPG set in the world of wizarding and magic we’ve grown to love."
Book Bench reported the language of a trademark registered by Warner Bros. two years ago "doesn’t necessarily dispel the possibility of such a game." The application "outlines Pottermore as a service 'providing multiple-user access to a global computer information network, [...] on-line chat rooms and electronic bulletin boards for transmission of messages among users in the field of general interest [and] on-line facilities for real-time interaction with other computer users concerning topics of general interest.' "
The Week featured seven prevailing theories about Pottermore.com.
"I read Donna Tartt's The Secret History in the summer of 1991, while staying with my boyfriend in a small house on Martha's Vineyard," Jennifer Egan recalled in a Guardian feature asking writers about their most memorable holiday reads. "The book hadn't yet been published, but there was already such advance furor over it that just getting my hands on a battered, grease-stained galley felt like an unbelievable score. I sat down expecting to be riveted but prepared for disillusionment--how many books can stand up to an expectation like that?"
Andrew Motion's recollection was "The Odyssey on Ithaca. Whenever I looked up from the page, I saw the ruins of Odysseus's palace (so called), the beach where he eventually made landfall, the empty cave where his cult once thrived, the bare rocky hills described in the poem--and also saw myth and reality tumbling through one another."