Borders has been authorized to auction its name and real estate assets. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn granted the company's request to hold an auction for intellectual property on September 14, including its trademarks, website, brand name and customer lists, Reuters reported, adding that the Borders name could live on as an Internet brand.
Glenn also gave Borders permission to split its remaining leases into two groups and hold auctions for them on August 31 and September 13. Reuters noted that the first group "consists mainly of leases that must be assumed or broken by September 30, as well as leases for some smaller stores. All leases that do not fall in those categories will be auctioned in the second round. Hearings to approve the auction results would be scheduled for September 8 and September 20, respectively."
Acknowledging that some landlords have objected to the speed of the process, Glenn "said it is important to move the liquidation along. He said that, if timing remains a concern for particular landlords, they can negotiate individual extensions with Borders," Reuters wrote.
Help wanted. Books-A-Million is encouraging former Borders employees to join the company, which has 231 stores in 23 states and D.C., the Birmingham News reported. "We would like to invite former Borders employees to apply for opportunities with us," said Misty Fontenot, v-p of human resources for BAM. "We want former Borders employees to know that they have a place on our team." Available positions include booksellers, baristas and managers in various locations.
The Washington Post has reorganized structure and staffing of its books, food and travel sections, Poynter.org reported. In a staff memo, executive editor Marcus Brauchli said the changes to the weekly features section, which are to be phased in over the next few weeks, "will simplify and streamline our operations, allowing us to improve coverage in certain areas."
What this means for the books section is that the books staff, "led for the past two and a half years by Rachel Shea, will now report into the sections where their reviews run." Nonfiction editor Steve Levingston [l.] will report to Outlook, which publishes nonfiction reviews; and fiction editor Ron Charles [r.]--along with the rest of Book World's assistant editors--will report to Style, which hosts most fiction coverage and reviews.
The assistant editors will support both fiction and nonfiction reviews and coverage, an approach that Brauchli contends "will allow tighter and smarter integration of our books coverage with the host sections, in print and online. We're not trimming coverage; we will publish the same number of reviews, in the same places where readers are accustomed to finding them."
Amazon launched the Kindle Cloud Reader, an application that uses HTML5 and enables customers to read Kindle books instantly using a web browser--online or off--with no downloading or installation required. The app is available for Safari on iPad, Safari on desktop and Chrome. More browsers will be supported in the coming months.
"They say revenge is a dish best served cold," CNet's David Carnoy observed. "But when it comes to circumventing Apple's new in-app subscription rules, it may be best served as an HTML5 Web app.... The Kindle Cloud Reader has a link to the Kindle Store, something that's now missing from the Kindle apps for iPad and iPhone after Apple enforced its new in-app subscription rules that require app developers to strip out any links to external mechanisms for purchasing digital books or subscriptions."
The third feature highlighted on the app's Web page makes the buying option clear: "Optimized for iPad: shop the integrated Kindle Store for Tablets."
On paidContent.org, Ingrid Lunden noted that the Kindle Cloud Reader "potentially gives Amazon a far greater degree of control over the app, and plays to the company's other big strand of business around centralized, cloud-based services. It also gives a hint of how Amazon might deliver its Kindle services over a much-rumored Amazon tablet."
Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies, told TheStreet that the Kindle Cloud Reader "would make Barnes & Noble much angrier than it would ruffle Apple's feathers. Today, there's no Amazon Kindle app for the Nook, but by putting it on a cloud-based Internet connection, Amazon could tap into the Nook market."
In the New York Times, Nick Bolton chronicled his odyssey reading chapters of Caleb Carr's The Alienist on an Amazon Kindle, the first- and second-generation Apple iPads, B&N's Nook, an iPhone, a Windows Phone, a Google Android phone, a Google Android tablet and a laptop computer. "To be fair," he added, "I also read a chapter in that old-fashioned form--a crumply old print paperback."
"In the end, it might come down to a personal choice based on the type of phone you own," Bolton concluded. "I was torn between the Kindle and the iPad 2. The Kindle is light and costs much less, but it is also limited in that it can't connect to the Web. The iPad 2 costs much more, but has so many added features it seems worth the added expense. But if money is tight, go for print. My used paperback cost only $4."
Ann Wachur, a Penguin Group rep, has won the Saul Gilman Award, sponsored by the New England Independent Booksellers Association and honoring "outstanding service" by a sales rep in the region.
Before becoming a rep, Wachur worked at the former Barrett Bookstore, Stamford, Conn.
Fast Company featured several leading independent booksellers to showcase five "novel ideas for indie bookstores," which all sounded logical and... familiar:
- Cluster products.
- Act locally.
- Be a printing press.
- Help the competition.
- Broadcast events.
Cool idea of the day. Laura Moulton's pedal-powered Street Books project in Portland, Ore., offers books to homeless people who don't qualify for library cards. The Christian Science Monitor reported that twice a week, Moulton can be seen "fiercely peddling her bike as she tows along a wagon full of books. When she arrives at her destination, Ms. Moulton parks, opens her wagon, and sets up for her four-hour shift."
"There is at least one guy waiting every Wednesday morning to greet me, get his book, and head out," she said. "The power of the book offer[s] a way to transport oneself out of a current reality.... Being able to give them a card and tell them, 'I hope to see you again'--that’s a powerful thing because these are people who cannot get a library card [at the local library] because they have no address."
Steve Cole, author of the Astrosaurs book series, selected his top 10 space books for the Guardian, noting that "space is infinite, and there will always be so many exquisite mysteries still remaining--so hurrah for all those fabulous space books on the shelves, full of fun and wonder, helping us to imagine and dream and inspiring us to discover the truth."
If you love typewriters and you love penguins, then you'll really love Jeremy Meyer's "typewriter-part penguin," which was showcased by Boing Boing.
For his "delightfully altered books," Mark McEvoy uses found copies of classics and gives them "a cheeky, modern makeover that might make certain bibliophiles a bit nervous," Flavorwire reported.
BuzzFeed featured "10 famous fictional characters you didn't know were based on real people."
Not-safe-for-work unofficial book trailer of the day. The staff at Simon & Schuster had some off-color fun in four short videos about Nicholson Baker's latest novel, House of Holes: A Book of Raunch.
(Cutting) book trailer of the day: Machine Man by Max Barry (Vintage).