Notes: Books Boom Online; Stores Opening, Closing
More books than any other product are sold on the Internet and the number of books sold is increasing, according to a Nielsen Online survey as reported by the BBC.
Nielsen Online polled 26,312 people in 48 countries and 41% of Internet users had bought books online, up from 34% in a similar survey two years ago. The biggest increases in buying books online occurred in emerging markets like South Korea and India.
The top 10 book-buying countries by percentage of Internet users buying books online according to Nielsen Online are:
1. South Korea--58%
While the U.S. had a high number of consumers who Nielsen estimates have bought books online--57.5 million--that represents 38% of all American Internet users.
After "the worst holiday season in record," James Drayton is closing the African American Heritage Bookstore, West Palm Beach, Fla., which he bought 15 years ago, according to the Palm Beach Post. The store was founded in 1991.
Drayton indicated he believes the economy will get worse and won't improve for at least two years, adding, "I don't have that kind of financial staying power for that period of time."
This marks the second African American bookstore to close in the last week. Last Tuesday, Karibu Books, with six stores in and around Prince George's County, Md., announced it was closing. In its case, the cause was not the state of the business so much as what CEO Simba Sana called a "destructive" dissolution of the company's partnership (Shelf Awareness, January 22, 2008).
The Book End, a Christian bookstore selling books, Bibles, music, jewelry and gifts, has opened in downtown Floyd, Va., the Roanoke Times reported. Owner Retia Meade told the paper she opened the store because "there just is not a Christian bookstore within a 50 mile radius around here and there's just a real need for one."
The Book End is located at 201 E. Main St., Suite 9, Floyd, Va. 24091; 540-745-6707.
More on Jessica Stockton Bagnulo's prize of $15,000 to be used toward opening a bookstore in Brooklyn, N.Y., mentioned here yesterday. She told today's New York Daily News that she envisions "a small bookstore with a cafe, a wine bar, lots of wood and lots of brick" and is looking to open either in Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Windsor Terrace or Prospect Heights. "I want to go to a neighborhood that needs a bookstore and can support one," she said.
Effective February 18, Vicky Smith becomes children's book review editor at Kirkus Reviews, replacing Karen Breen, who is retiring after eight years in the position. She will remain with Kirkus in a consulting capacity. Smith, a public librarian the past 13 years, has been a children's book reviewer and regular contributor to Kirkus since 2000.
"Is New York City not the best city on earth?" asked Alison Stein Wellner in an article for Huffington Post. Her reason for doubting the Big Apple's reign?
"I've just returned from a trip to Portland, Oregon, where my last good argument for why New York City is the best city on the continent failed me. I sort of knew that this would happen before I went--oh, I'd heard the rumors--and it happened on the drive from the airport, which went past Powell's bookstore, its lights were blazing in the cold, damp dark. It was huge, much bigger than I'd imagined, it just kept going and going, and through the windows, I could see rows and rows of books. It looked like the most inviting university library ever. I restrained my urge to leap from the car and run to it--and I realized I was in trouble."
Unity Books, Pittsboro, N.C., is "thriving" while other businesses in the community are struggling with an uncertain economy, according to NBC17. Unity's owner, Janice Escott, called her shop more than just a bookstore because it has become a center where people go for yoga, spiritual healing and self-help.
"We are offering something to the community that is universal that people are looking for," she said. "So many times, people have come through the doors and said we've been looking for you. We're glad you're here-not just books but so many other things that people use in their lives."
"Some people have trouble grasping the enormity" of Acres of Books, Long Beach, Calif., according to the Daily 49er, which noted that, "as if their name didn't already give you the hint, this established 74-year-old used bookstore, the third largest and oldest of its kind in the country, will make you walk 6.5 miles of space that's saturated with towering 15-foot bookshelves."
Our comments about the Super Bowl yesterday elicited a range of reactions, from the unprintable to the following recommendations:
Never Give Up: My Stroke, My Recovery, and My Return to the NFL by Tedy Bruschi with Michael Holley (Wiley, $24.95, 9780470108697/047010869X), published last August. [Thanks to Rob Dyer at Wiley!]
The Blueprint: How the New England Patriots Beat the System to Create the Last Great NFL Superpower by Christopher Price (Thomas Dunne/St. Martin's, $24.95, 978031236838/0312368380). [Thanks to Matt Baldacci at St. Martin's!]
And classic, general football titles:
- Friday Night Lights: A Town, a Team, and a Dream by H.G. Bissinger (Da Capo Press, $15.95, 9780306809903/0306809907). "Intense high school football in Texas."
- Paper Lion: Confessions of a Last-String Quarterback by George Plimpton (Lyons Press, $15.95, 9781599210056/1599210053). "The founder of the Paris Review joins the Detroit Lions."
- Namath: A Biography by Mark Kriegel (Penguin, $16, 9780143035350/0143035355). "Broadway Joe, football's first TV star."
- Next Man Up: A Year Behind the Lines in Today's NFL by John Feinstein (Back Bay Books, $15.99, 9780316013284/0316013285). "A year with the Baltimore Ravens."
- The Thin Thirty by Shannon P. Ragland (Set Shot Press, $18.95, 9780979122217/097912221X). "Coaching brutality at Kentucky."
- Fifth Quarter: The Scrimmage of a Football Coach's Daughter by Jennifer Allen (Random House, $19, 9780812992328/0812992326). "Being a head coach's daughter."
[Thanks to Richard Davies at AbeBooks.com!]