For the second time, the Australian Competition and Consumer
Commission has delayed a decision on the purchase of Borders Group's
Australian stores by Pacific Equity Partners, the private equity firm
that owns Angus & Robertson and Whitcoulls Group, Reuters
reported. The ACCC, which had expressed concern about a takeover
resulting in reduced consumer discounts and increased prices,
originally said it would announce a decision December 19. The new date
is January 30. An analyst told Reuters, "They probably need extra time
to review submissions and concerns from competitors or other industry
The high court in Versailles ruled that Amazon.com has 10 days to begin charging for the delivery of books in France.
According to the New York Times, "The action, brought in January 2004 by the French Booksellers' Union (Syndicat de la librairie francaise), accused Amazon of offering illegal discounts on books and even of selling some books below cost."
noted that retail prices are tightly regulated in France, and the use
of "'loss-leaders,' or selling products below cost to attract
customers, is illegal. Other restrictions apply to books . . . retailers must
not offer discounts of more than 5 percent on the publisher's
recommended price. Many independent booksellers choose to offer this
discount in the form of a loyalty bonus based on previous purchases.
Larger booksellers simply slash the sticker price of books. But the
free delivery offered by Amazon exceeded the legal limit in the case of
cheaper books, the union charged."
The old Barnes & Noble felt so much like a library that--
The Rockford Public Library in Rockford, Ill., has bought a former
B&N and is moving its Northeast branch into the 23,000-sq.-ft.
space, which is nearly three times as large as its current location,
the Rockford Register Star
reported. Renovations will include phone and data wiring, remodeling
the bathrooms and creating three rooms. No word on whether the old
library is being converted to a bookstore.
In another case of a college bookstore being moved off campus to
revitalize a commercial area, the bookstore serving Texas Wesleyan
University in Fort Worth, Tex., is being relocated to a former
restaurant in a quiet shopping district across from the school,
according to TV station WFAA.
As the station observed, "The strategy is that once students come off
campus to shop at the bookstore, they will also shop at other
businesses that might move in."
Rowan University, Glassboro, N.J., has approved a plan similar to that of TWU, the Gloucester County Times
reported. Under the plan, Rowan will lease its bookstore to Barnes
& Noble, which will open a store in a project between the campus
and downtown that will include retail outlets, a hotel and student and
University president Donald Farish commented, "To move the store into
Glassboro helps create the notion that we're part of the borough. We
think it makes sense financially and we think it makes sense in terms
Among the most popular calendars this season are President Bush countdown calendars, the Boston Globe
reported. Sales of Bush calendars are up 30% at Borders and among the
top sellers at Barnes & Noble. At the Downtown Crossing Borders in
Boston, a "Countdown to Victory" sign hangs over Bush countdown
calendars as well as calendars promoting Hillary Clinton, Rudy
Giuliani, John McCain and Barack Obama, all of which are given
prominent aisle space.
The independent booksellers of Montana's Flathead County "hang on through changing times," according to a Flathead Beacon
piece that chronicled the owners' enduring beliefs that "there will
always be enough people who want the whole reading experience" and
"there will always be enough people who want to shop local."
doubt if any of us are doing well," said Cheryl Watkins, owner of
Bookworks, Whitefish. "But we do have a really good bunch of people
that keep us going."
Jim Handcock, owner of Blacktail Mountain
Books, Kalispell, said, "You got to like the books and the people more
than the dollars. Mostly I'm a book addict and I deal with book
addicts. I'm like an alcoholic bartender. Whatever comes in my kitchen
I go after."
At Bad Rock Books, Columbia Falls, owner Carol
Rocks observed: "If you get your knowledge through a
video screen or a computer screen, then I guess that's okay. A lot of
people who buy books and read books don't necessarily always want that.
They want to be able to have it in their hot little hands."
A tempting recipe for Bookstore Café Apricot Squares was featured in the Washington Post. Marcy Goldman, baker and author of A Passion for Baking, "named them 'Bookstore Café' because she thinks they're befitting a cozy book shop that serves dessert."
In an Oregon City News
profile of Lighthouse Books, Clackamas, Ore., owner Dee Bedsole cited
the best thing about her new life as a bookseller: "I just get to meet
all kinds of really nice people. They come back every week, so now we
are old friends. The wonderful people who read books are a treasure
More book gift lists:
The Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, Va., got a plug in Richmond.com's
holiday gift list: "The perfect place to start is Fountain Bookstore in
Shockoe Slip. The salesfolk there know how to party, and are holding
holiday events all through the month of December."
USA Today touted a deep roster for holiday sports books.
Playing a home game, the New Yorker's list included "Books from our Pages."
And cookbooks galore:
Sadly Terry Pratchett has been diagnosed with a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's, as he stated online
yesterday. He added: "We are taking it fairly philosophically
down here and possibly with a mild optimism. For now work is continuing
on the completion of Nation and the basic notes are already being laid down for Unseen Academicals.
All other things being equal, I expect to meet most current and, as far
as possible, future commitments but will discuss things with the
various organisers. Frankly, I would prefer it if people kept things
cheerful, because I think there's time for at least a few more books
Incidentally, Barbara Mertz, our Book Brahmin today (see below), is a
big fan as shown by her answer to the question "book you are an
a service that allows readers to read books via e-mail and RSS
installments, has agreed with Harlequin Enterprises to deliver in
digital serialization format 100 Harlequin backlist titles as well as 20
frontlist titles each month. Most titles will be priced under $5 and be
delivered in daily e-mail installments with others on demand.
heard from many individuals yesterday that the British word "tosser"
means more than just
"idiot." Delicately put (well maybe not), it also means masturbator.
So let's put our hands together to thank our many observant readers for
the information--and let's hope that the tosser issue in Shelf Awareness has spent itself.