While in the process of acquiring several former Borders locations, Books-A-Million is also culling some of its older stores, including those in Tupelo, Miss., Macon, Ga., Asheville, N.C., and Florence, S.C.
The BAM in Tupelo, which has been open for 15 years, began its liquidation yesterday. On Wednesday, "the employees were directing customers to BAM stores in Corinth and Columbus. They also were boxing up books and merchandise on center displays," the NEMS Daily Journal reported, adding that the store's manager had confirmed the liquidation, but said she wasn’t authorized to disclose more details.
Seventeen years after opening, the Macon outlet displayed similar signs and an employee told Macon.com the shop would be closed by October 8.
In Asheville, signs were posted on the door of the 20-year-old BAM location that read "Store Closing, this location only" and "Everything must go," while the staff "told customers the store would close September 17, according to the Citizen-Times.
The Florence BAM will close September 17 after 15 years in business, costing about 20 jobs, according to the Morning News.
Kobo has filed a lawsuit in New York bankruptcy court, hoping to stop the license for its e-reader from falling into the hands of the purchaser of Borders's intellectual property assets when they are put up for auction. Borders had been the Canadian e-reader company's only U.S. partner. PaidContent.org reported that Kobo "wants to prevent whoever wins the auction from obtaining the customer data. The company may also be worried because the licenses are likely to contain an exclusivity clause that prevent Kobo from partnering with another seller. Borders at one point had an 11% stake in Kobo."
Jeffrey Gleit, a lawyer for Borders, told paidContent.org the licenses are not part of the auction sale. Trademark lawyer Shon Lo observed that "generally, a trademark license can’t be assigned without the owner’s permission."
An evening with Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer. Beginning in Los Angeles on Halloween, "pop-culture freaks and geek newlyweds" Palmer and Gaiman will be "taking their domestic and creative union to the West Coast this fall with a short tour," Wired reported, noting that the project "already boasts a complementary Kickstarter project that has grabbed more than $70,000 in funding in just a few days, with weeks to go."
According to Palmer, "This show will be very different beast from the loud, crazed rock shows that I'm accustomed to... and also very different from the relatively well-behaved readings to which Neil is accustomed. This tour is a like one big, long reception in which our two fan-families get to meet each other."
Gaiman hopes "that Amanda's fans will put up with the messy-haired Englishman reading them stories, and that mine will enjoy the beautiful lady singing them songs of angst, post-modernism and woe. Or possibly vice versa."
It may be the dawn of the age of e-books, but last week Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand struck a blow for print editions by surpassing the one million copies in hardcover sales, USA Today reported.
"In this time of explosive growth in e-book sales, the mega-success of Unbroken in hardcover clearly underscores that the demand for print editions of great reads is still enormous," said Gina Centrello, Random House president and publisher.
Justin Moodie, publishing director, digital at Dorling Kindersley, discussed the present and future state of book apps in the Guardian. With its emphasis on the visual, DK has "always been designing things for tablets, you could say, it's just that until now the tablets were made of paper!" said Moodie. "We design books for reluctant readers: anyone should be able to open any DK book at any page and be absorbed immediately, and it's the same with a tablet app."
He noted that social networking is the key to the immediate future for book apps: "The next step, and it's difficult to do, is collaboration. People using the same app and having some sort of shared experience. It's about playing to the strengths of the device, not just taking the things we already do and porting them over."
Last week Maple Street Book Shop celebrated the grand opening of its new store at the New Orleans Healing Center (NOHC). Bookselling This Week reported that several thousand people attended "the extravagant festivities" at Maple Street's third location.
Store manager Ben Jenkins called the opening "a huge success.... The feedback from those who attended was extremely positive. People seemed genuinely enthusiastic to have a bookstore in this area." Maple Street plans to open a fourth location in mid-October near the Mid-City neighborhood.
The co-owners of St. Mark’s Bookshop in New York City "are pressing their landlord, Cooper Union, to reduce the $20,000-per-month rent for the space in the base of the dormitory building at Third Avenue and Stuyvesant Street," the Local East Village reported.
"The economy crashed, business declined more and more, and the rent has become very burdensome, said co-owner Terence McCoy. "All our 40-hour employees are now working 24-hour weeks. We laid off a lot of part-time people.... We make more from social security checks than from the store. We just want to keep it open."
Although Community Board member Bob Zuckerman called the shop’s rent "market rate," the Economic Development Committee voted 9-0 "to endorse the owners’ efforts to have it reduced, saying the 33-year-old shop constituted a 'special case' because of its value to the neighborhood," the Local East Village wrote.
Results from a new study appear to confirm recent findings at the University of Toronto that claim fiction affects a reader's personality (Shelf Awareness, August 26, 2011).
Researchers at the University at Buffalo gave 140 undergraduates passages from either Stephenie Meyer's Twilight or J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone to read, then put them through a series of tests. The study's authors, Dr. Shira Gabriel and Ariana Young, applied what they called the Twilight/Harry Potter Narrative Collective Assimilation Scale, in which the students were asked questions "designed to measure their identification with the worlds they had been reading about.... Their moods, life satisfaction and absorption into the stories were then measured," the Guardian reported.
The study found that participants who read Harry Potter chapters self-identified as wizards, while Twilight readers self-identified as vampires, and "belonging to these fictional communities actually provided the same mood and life satisfaction people get from affiliations with real-life groups."
NPR's Monkey See blog explored the popular Twitter literary phenomenon of adopting "the identities of famous authors, both living and dead. There is no pretense of reality in these imitations--it is a game, an inside joke--and people are really getting into it."
Although there are writers like Wendy McLure (@HalfPintIngalls) tweeting "semi-professionally," the majority of the "140 character impersonators are not working with any kind of commercial imperative. They are simply trying to break down writers' iconic styles into 140 characters as a labor of love or comedy, often playing with the novelty of pairing an author's style with the technology of the modern age," Monkey See wrote.
It's not just Twitter that's benefiting from lit impersonations. The New Yorker's Book Bench blog reported on the art of "crafting Yelp reviews in the style of Cormac McCarthy," including this tasty excerpt from "Cormac M.'s" two-star review of Papalote Mexican Grill in San Francisco's Mission District:
"His eyes shift upward to a circling vulture, a sentinel of inevitability. The blood is almost black. He has another hour at most. The pain comes in waves, lingering like the burn of bad whiskey. One bullet left in the Colt. Something as yet unheralded has died when a quesadilla comes on a spinach tortilla."
Creepy book trailer of the day: Bedbugs: A Novel by Ben H. Winters (Quirk Books).
Molly Barton has been promoted to v-p, digital publishing, business development and strategy at Penguin Group.
In her career at Penguin, she has helped launch Book Country, developed the eSpecial program, expanded the company's connection with Starz TV network and helped launch several major apps and is on the board of Bookish.