More news about bookstores affected by Hurricane Irene:
Historic downtown Manteo, N.C., on Roanoke Island, was flooded with four feet of water, which washed into Manteo Booksellers, as shown in this picture from the Outer Banks Voice.
Island Bookstore, which has three branches in the Outer Banks, fared better. Yesterday the stores in Kitty Hawk and Duck were fine and had power, while the one in Corolla was in good shape but had no power. But tourists are not being allowed into Corolla.
Quail Ridge Books & Music, Durham, N.C., lost power Saturday afternoon and closed early, but opened on Sunday with power restored. On Saturday, the store wrote on Facebook, "locating books by flashlight is an interesting experience."
Good news from Clinton Book Shop, Clinton, N.J., on the south branch of the Raritan River, where sandbags held against high waters and the store opened yesterday.
R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn., was closed yesterday since the town had no power, like many towns along the Connecticut coastline. The store is opening this morning at 10 and even if power doesn't return, will stay open until mid- to late-afternoon.
The store encouraged customers to visit, writing in an e-mail, "So, get out of the house! Come to the store! Bring a flashlight, miner's cap, anything that will help you see the books on the shelves (other than lighters and matches, of course). Let friends without Internet access know about this 'light' at the end of the post-Irene tunnel!"
Nearby in Mystic, Conn., Bank Square Books also did not have power, but opened yesterday. In a post, owner Annie Philbrick wrote: "No power, but we can handsell, which is what we do best."
Some of the worst flooding was in Vermont and wrecked Bartleby's Books, Wilmington (as noted in yesterday's issue). Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, had a flooded basement, but otherwise fared well and was open yesterday.
An author event at BookHampton bookstore, East Hampton, N.Y., last Friday made international news when Gwyneth Paltrow ignored the warning stage of Hurricane Irene to appear at an event promoting her new cookbook My Father's Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family and Togetherness.
The U.K.'s Daily Mail reported that the "usually glamorous actress looked like she had rushed to get to the event. She arrived sporting messy hair, no make-up, cut-off jeans, a striped sweater with a swimsuit underneath and flip-flops. Despite her casual appearance, Gwyneth's admirers didn't seem to mind, as they lined up to get a glimpse of the Oscar-winning star."
"Gwyneth is a great friend and neighbor of our bookstore, and we are delighted to invite the entire community to this great event," said owner Charline Spektor.
The Amazon tablet drumbeat continued yesterday with the release of a new Forrester Research report predicting that if the online retailer "launches a tablet at a sub-$300 price point--assuming it has enough supply to meet demand--we see Amazon selling 3-5 million tablets in Q4 alone," and "explaining exactly how, and why, Amazon will disrupt the tablet market." Although the report had been in the works for some time, Forrester "held off publishing it last week out of respect for Steve Jobs, and we have great admiration for his inventions and influence on our culture."
Forrester anticipates Amazon’s "quick ascension in the tablet market will completely disrupt the status quo," even though Apple will retain its dominant market share.... The bottom line: A year from now, 'Amazon' will be synonymous with 'Android' on tablets, a strong second to Apple’s iPad. If you haven’t yet contemplated how Apple-Amazon tablet domination will change your product strategy, now is the time to plan and act."
There has not yet been an official confirmation that a new Sony Reader will launch this fall, but the Digital Reader's Nate Hoffelder reported that last weekend bol.com, a Dutch web retailer and e-bookstore, "accidentally leaked the product page" for the Sony Reader PRS-T1, with a suggested retail of €164.95 (US$239). In a later update, Hoffelder expressed disappointment with the device's new specs: "I feel that Sony continue to remain one step behind everyone else. I was hoping for something new and amazing, but Sony gave us an e-reader that is only an incremental improvement on the last generation."
Boing Boing echoed those comments, noting that the "last generation of Sony's Reader was distinguished by its classy hardware, and by being small and light despite it. Unlike other brands, it offered models that fit in a pocket, had a nice feel--which is important!--and was only trivially more expensive for it. Faced with the challenge of catching up to the Kindle and Nook in other respects, Sony instead gets rid of the only things it had over them."
Justin Torres, author of the novel We the Animals (released today by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal at McNally Jackson bookstore, where he used to work. Currently he is a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, but misses New York, describing it as "my home. I loved this bookstore. I loved selling books all day. But I would leave and I would be heartbroken because I couldn't afford to live in the city on what I was making."
Bradley Graham and Lissa Muscatine, the new co-owners of Politics & Prose Bookstore, Washington D.C., offered a progress report in SecondAct, referencing a "Why We Bought a Bookstore" piece they wrote last April (Shelf Awareness, April 4, 2011).
"When I come to the store in the morning, it doesn't feel as if I'm going to work," Graham said. "It's like going to a community gathering. We see so many people we know, and everyone has been so welcoming to us."
He added that they see their "mission as serving the community, not just by selling books but fostering discussion and debate about all sorts of ideas. We want to maintain this as a place where authors and people can interact."
Politics & Prose is also in the process of setting up an Espresso Book Machine. "Enabling customers to publish their own books fits nicely with Graham's and Muscatine's core mission of maintaining a gathering place for people who love reading and ideas," SecondAct wrote.
Congratulations to Bookreporter.com, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary with a redesigned website, its first major redesign in 10 years. See the new Bookreporter.com look here. All six editorial sites in TheBookReportNetwork.com will be updated shortly.
Changes now allow readers to more easily find books of interest. "We wanted to take our very successful model of giving readers the opportunity to discover new authors while also connecting them to the books and authors that they love--and ramp it up," said president and founder Carol Fitzgerald. "While we cannot replace the bookstore experience--nor do we want or aim to--we want to create excitement about books and authors for booklovers. We do want to take away the feeling of being overwhelmed by too many choices."
Cool Canadian idea of the day: The new City Centre Library in Surrey, B.C., will feature a "human library" in addition to its print inventory. Canada.com reported that the concept "will allow users to 'check out' people and pick their brains about their experiences with blindness, immigration, religion or a disability, among other things. The goal is to break down stereotypes and start discussions, said deputy chief librarian Melanie Houlden."
Effective October 1, Unbridled Books' print titles will be distributed in the U.S. by Publishers Group West. Constellation, also owned by PGW's parent company, Perseus, will handle e-book distribution. Unbridled has been sold mainly by commission reps.
Judy Hottensen, publisher of Weinstein Books, which is a co-publishing venture of the Weinstein Company and Perseus Books Group, is re-joining Grove/Atlantic as associate publisher. She had worked at Grove/Atlantic from 1992-2005. Grove/Atlantic is distributed by PGW, which is owned by Perseus.
Until a new publisher at Weinstein Books is found, Da Capo Press will handle Weinstein Books.
Also at Grove/Atlantic, Elisabeth Schmitz, has been promoted to v-p, editorial director, and Deb Seager has been promoted to v-p, director of publicity.
Eric Price, associate publisher and COO, is retiring from full-time employment to pursue a longtime interest in the visual arts. He will continue to acquire and edit Grove's drama list and assist in operational and financial matters.
Jason Pinter is joining the company as senior marketing manager for the Mysterious Press and Atlantic Monthly Press crime fiction titles. He was formerly an editor with Warner Books, Random House and St. Martin's Press, an agent at the Waxman Literary Agency and worked in marketing at Open Road Media.
Stephanie Gilardi is joining Grove/Atlantic as senior publicist. She formerly worked at the Penguin Press.
Book trailer of the day: Darth Paper Strikes Back by Tom Angleberger (Abrams), sequel to The Strange Case of Origami Yoda. In the video, the author obediently folds a Darth Vader finger puppet.