Shelf Awareness for Monday, July 17, 2006

William Morrow & Company: The Midnight Feast by Lucy Foley

Shadow Mountain: The Witch in the Woods: Volume 1 (Grimmworld) by Michaelbrent Collings

Hell's Hundred: Blood Like Mine by Stuart Neville

Delacorte Press: Last One to Die by Cynthia Murphy

Margaret Ferguson Books: Not a Smiley Guy by Polly Horvath, Illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Indiana University Press: The Grim Reader: A Pharmacist's Guide to Putting Your Characters in Peril by Miffie Seideman

St. Martin's Press: Lenny Marks Gets Away with Murder by Kerryn Mayne


Bookstore Sales Inch Up in May

Bookstore sales in May were $1.111 billion, up 1.2% from $1.098 billion in the same month in 2005, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. By contrast, total retail sales in May were $343.5 billion, up 9.5% from $313.6 billion in May 2005.

The Census Bureau revised April sales up slightly, to $940 billion, from $937 billion.

For the year to date, bookstore sales were $6.287 billion, barely up from $6.282 billion in the same period a year ago.

Note: under Census Bureau definitions, bookstore sales are of new books and do not include "electronic home shopping, mail-order, or direct sale" or used book sales.

Harper: Our Kind of Game by Johanna Copeland

Jones Officially New Borders CEO

Late last week Borders Group confirmed that the Wall Street Journal has excellent sources, announcing officially that George L. Jones is the new president, CEO and a director of Borders, which the Journal reported last Monday.

Jones's first day on the job is today. He replaces Greg Josefowicz, chairman, president and CEO, who had announced his departure in January and is retiring now but will work in an advisory capacity during the transition.

Larry Pollock, president of investment firm Lucky Stars Partners and a Borders board member since 1995, has become chairman. He's also currently chairman of the nominating and corporate governance committee and a member of the compensation committee.

Pollock, who headed the CEO search committee, commented in a statement: "The Board believes that George will bring innovation and insight to the process of driving long-term growth, which is consistent with the company's current strategic direction."

Jones, most recently president and CEO of the Saks Department Store Group and earlier an executive at Warner Bros. and Target, said: "For many years, I have been a devoted Borders customer, enjoying countless hours in the stores. I am passionate about books, music and movies and truly honored to lead this fine company. The opportunities ahead of us are tremendously exciting as we work together to make Borders the preferred place for knowledge and entertainment throughout the world."


At the same time Borders announced the arrival of Jones, it said losses in the second quarter ending July 29 will be higher than previously predicted: the consolidated loss is expected to be in a range of 28 cents-32 cents a share rather than between 10 cents and 20 cents a share. Wall Street reacted negatively to that news. On Friday, in heavy trading--3.9 million shares--Borders stock closed at $17.56, down 3.9%. Its 52-week range has been between $16.20 and $25.55.

The higher loss was attributed to several large non-operating charges, including a pre-tax charge of $2.7 million related to Josefowicz's retirement and a pre-tax charge of $2.3 million stemming from the closing of its distribution facility in Pennsylvania, which occurred sooner than expected following the opening of new, larger DC.

In addition, Borders estimated that sales at many of its stores would be lower than forecast. At Borders U.S. superstores open at least a year, sales will likely fall in the mid-single digits rather than the low single digits, and at international superstores comp-store sales are expected to fall in the low- to mid-single digits rather than be flat. The company did not change estimates that sales at its Waldenbooks Specialty Retail division will decline in the low double digits.

Last Friday, Deutsche Securities downgraded Borders to hold from buy.

Chronicle Books: Life Wants You Dead: A Calm, Rational, and Totally Legit Guide to Scaring Yourself Safe by Evan Waite, Illustrated by Paula Searing

Notes: Winter Institute Set; Beijing's Big New Bookstore

The ABA's Winter Institute, a wildly successful experiment held in January in Long Beach, Calif., will return next year and be held in Portland, Ore., Thursday and Friday, February 1-2, Bookselling This Week reported. The Institute will have two full days of free educational programming for owners and staff of ABA members stores; enrollment will be limited to 500.


In other ABA news, the Hotel ABA, which in a few years has become a focus of BEA for many booksellers, will be located next year in downtown Brooklyn, according to Bookselling This Week. ABA COO Oren Teicher explained the move by noting that the best available hotel prices in midtown Manhattan would be twice that of previous Hotel ABAs. The hotel will offer the usual special receptions, a welcome desk, the delivery of ARCs, lots of publisher swag and other amenities.


Disanji Bookstore opened yesterday in Beijing and is the largest bookstore in China's capital, according to the China Daily. The four-story store stocks 300,000 books in 215,000 square feet of space. There are "bamboo-made couches at every corner." One customer told the paper "she feels like she's in a library."


For anyone who had trouble ordering from or simply trying to reach the Haworth Press, Binghampton, N.Y., recently, rest assured that the company is back in business after being closed a week, through July 5, because of the flooding that affected much of the mid-Atlantic area.

Haworth lost "about 25 offices in our building's basement along with all of our printed catalogs, direct mail pieces, etc.," according to sales and publicity manager Margaret Tatich. Communications systems were down, too, but now the company is fully operational, its offices are temporarily relocated, all systems are working and orders are being fulfilled. The press has an account of the flood and pictures on its Web site.


Barnes & Noble plans to open a new store in August 2007 in Burlington, N.C. The store will stock nearly 200,000 books, music, DVD and magazine titles and will be located at 1311 Boone Station Drive in the Alamance Crossing Shopping Center.


Managed by Barnes & Noble, the bookstore at Grambling State University, Grambling, La., is reopening at the end of July in a new location, according to the Gramblinite (which proudly states that it reports rather than makes the news). The paper wrote: "The new bookstore will be smaller, but a pleasant atmosphere with scroll carpet, superior displays, wood flooring, and a window just for buyback refunds."


The Toronto Star profiles Abebooks, the online bookselling marketplace, on its 10th anniversary, and explains why the majority owner of an Internet giant located in Victoria, B.C., is German media company Burda.


The Worcester Telegram profiles Nancy M. Bassett, who in April opened the children's bookstore Once Upon a Storybook in April in Holden, Mass.

Bassett become a bookseller much earlier than originally planned. As she was about to receive a bachelor of science degree in library sciences and information technology, she learned she had breast cancer. She is 95% cured, she said; the experience motivated her to realize her ultimate dream of owning a children's bookstore. As she has conceived the store, the paper wrote, it is a place "where children learn to interact with stories through songs, activities and her animated reading of the stories" and "where parents select wonderful stories with beautiful illustrations that draw children to them over and over again."


The White County Literacy Council has opened a used bookstore, The Second Time Around--Books, Etc., in Searcy, Ark., according to the Searcy Daily Citizen

Most paperbacks are priced at a nostalgic 25 cents, and romance novels are two for two bits. "We're selling them for next to nothing," Ann Nieto, executive director of the Literacy Council, told the paper. "It will be nice to make money for the Literacy Council, but the primary mission is to keep these books circulating."


Once again, the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association is sponsoring an essay contest for employees of NAIBA member bookstores. The winner of the "Declare Your Independence" contest, who will write about "why it is important to be an independent bookseller," will be NAIBA's bookseller of the year and win a trip to the NAIBA show in September and one year of association membership for the member store.

GLOW: Tundra Books: We Are Definitely Human by X. Fang

Pirates Invade Landlubbin' Bookstores

Booksellers might want to pirate a few ideas from other booksellers who are tying in to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Curse, which has amassed a treasure of $258.2 million at the box office in the last 10 days.

Last Friday at Changing Hands, Tempe, Ariz., for example, Black Plague Jeffrey aka Jeffrey Middleton, a drama teacher, took command of the store and read from Pirateology: The Pirate Hunter's Companion by Dugald Steer, the Arizona Republic reported.

Pirate Day also included a treasure hunt, treasure chest decorating and a fencing demonstration, and scallywags read from Tough Boris by Mem Fox and Kathryn Brown and Pirattitude: So You Wanna Be a Pirate? Here's How! by John Baur and Mark Summers.


Likewise this past Saturday, Good Yarns Bookshop, Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y., had a pirate afternoon "filled with pirate stories, eye patches, treasure hunting, and a hearty celebration of the arrival of the new book, Pirateology."


Saturday, July 8, was Pirate Day at Vroman's, Pasadena, Calif., and included several events.

The store's regular Saturday story time morphed into a Pirate-themed party featuring stories, games and grog (a mix of juices), sea biscuits (cookies) and more. Staff and participants were encouraged to dress up like pirates.

In the afternoon, the store hosted a citywide photo scavenger hunt. Items to be photographed included brooms and telescopes; participants included children and adults. The winning team received gift cards to Vroman's and movie tickets for the sequel to Pirates of the Caribbean.

Harper: Sandwich by Catherine Newman

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Burnt Toast, Real Food

This morning on Good Morning America: Francis S. Collins, author of The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief (Free Press, $26, 0743286391).


Today on Ellen: Teri Hatcher, the Desperate Housewife and author of Burnt Toast: And Other Philosophies of Life (Hyperion, $24.95, 1401302629).


Today on WAMU's Diane Rehm Show: Nina Planck, author of Real Food: What to Eat and Why (Bloomsbury, $23.95, 1596911441), and Michael Jacobson, author of Six Arguments for a Greener Diet: How a Plant-based Diet Could Save Our Health & Environment (CSPI, $14.95, 0893290491).


Tonight on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart: Gordon Chang, author of Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World (Random House, $25.95, 1400062942).

Books & Authors

Book Sense: May We Recommend

From last week's Book Sense bestseller lists, available at, here are the recommended titles, which are also Book Sense Picks:


Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson (Warner, $22.99, 0446524425). "Following on the heels of Gods in Alabama, Jackson's new novel will be welcomed by readers and fans. A small (population 90) town with two feuding families is drawn together by the infant Nonny--born of the Crabtrees, raised by the Freets."--Mary Gay Shipley, That Bookstore In Blytheville, Blytheville, Ark.

Chosen by a Horse by Susan Richards (Soho, $20, 1569474192). "Richards has woven a marvelous read, delicately entwining her life with those of her horses. One in particular is her soul mate, and the two heal one another's wounds from the past on their journey through life. Sad at the end, but beautiful and positive all at the same time. This is truly a wonderful, tender book."--Wendy Kerop, The Turning Page, Old Lyme, Conn.


Tomorrow They Will Kiss by Eduardo Santiago (Back Bay, $13.99, 0316014125). "Santiago has created a kaleidoscope of female characters in a novel that is as irresistible and addictive as a telenovela. His Cuban women in exile will wrap you up in their stories, as they illuminate the immigrant experience in a tapestry of memory, dreams, friendship, nostalgia, and humor."--Cristina Nosti, Books & Books, Coral Gables, Fla.

For Teen Readers

Burned by Ellen Hopkins (Margaret K. McElderry, $16.95, 1416903542). "Ellen Hopkins makes this novel in verse thoroughly gripping, and the shape of the stanzas on each page magically capture the emotion of the story. This is an intense story of a teenage girl who is raised in a religious--yet abusive--family, and a story all young women should read."--Morgan Harris, Full Circle Bookstore, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Keeper of the Winds by Jenna Solitaire (Tor Teen, $6.99, 0765353571). "I loved this story of a 19-year-old young woman who finds an ancient wooden board covered with mysterious symbols. Great storyline, great writing, great characters, an unusual coming-of-age theme, and just creepy enough."--Meg Arsenault, Central Avenue Bookstores, Faribault, Minn.

[Many thanks to Book Sense and the ABA!]

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