Total revenues at Hastings Entertainment rose 3.1% to $131.9 million in the quarter ended April 30 while net income rose 20% to $3 million compared to $2.5 million in the same period in 2007.
Sales of books at stores open at least a year rose 5.6% in the quarter, outpacing movies and music and behind video games, electronics and consumables. Book sales rose primarily because of "increased sales of new trade paperback books, as well as strong sales of used hardback and trade paperback books." New Earth by Eckhart Tolle and The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch sold especially well.
Hastings has 153 stores, most in small- and medium-sized markets.
The Daily Mail ran a photo of Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban leaving Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Nashville, Tenn., with a Davis-Kidd bag prominently featured. According to the London paper's intrepid reporters, while in the store Kidman, who is seven months pregnant, checked out the "Week 30" chapter of Your Pregnancy Week by Week by Dr. Glade Curtis and Judith Schuler (Da Capo Press) while Urban delved into Pocket Dad: Everyday Wisdom, Practical Tips, and Fatherly Advice by Dina Fayer (Quirk Books).
Three private equity groups have expressed interest in buying Borders's Paperchase subsidiary, the Financial Times reported. The paper speculated that W.H. Smith and HMV, which runs Waterstone's, may be interested as well.
"Tough times for local booksellers" was the headline of a MetroWest Daily News article exploring used bookstores in this region of eastern Massachusetts. A video tour of some of the shops was also included.
can get rid of old furniture or clothes. But books are more personal,
harder to throw away. I think people's spirits stay in their books,"
said Nancy Haines, co-owner of Vintage Books, Hopkinton, who also
cautioned, "People don't browse as much as they used to. We compete for
people's time. College kids are not into reading. We're not seeing a
new generation of collectors."
Ted Seager, owner of Village
Books, Medway, said, "A lot of people don't know what stores like mine
offer until they find a book they had when they were kids or some
out-of-print title from the 1940s. I hear them go 'Ohhhhh' and that
makes my day."
Alex Green, owner of Back Pages Books, Waltham,
which sells new and used books, thinks "the potential for (local
bookstores) will grow every single year."
Betty Ann Sharp, who
owns Bearly Read Books, Sudbury, would "like to see more people
collecting books. They purchase sports memorabilia but what do you
learn from that? A book is more than pages covered with words. It can
be a work of art. No animal of earth can record its thoughts so they
can be shared 2,000 years later. Books are what make us human."
Jean Wallick, co-owner of the Shire Book, Franklin, said, "I think
people like the smell of books. They can hold memories and leave a
wonderful impression. With the Internet and TV entertaining so many
people, we tend to see the ones who read. Sometimes I see a parent
reading to a child in their lap, already stimulating their imagination.
Maybe that child is beginning to share a vision with its parent. It's
very beautiful to see."
Ranked 17th on AOL Money & Finance's
list of "Top 25 Things We Wish Would Make a Comeback" was new "New
Potter books." Blogger Bruce Watson wrote, "Although I'd gladly buy Harry Potter and the Thinning Hair or even Harry Potter and the Vaguely Disconcerting Polyps,
I know that anything beyond this point will definitely be jumping the
shark. For better or worse, Harry Potter is finished as a primary
character; his story is done. On the other hand, I still have some hope
for his kids, particularly Albus Severus Potter."
Also making news in the world of HP was Michael Rosen, Children's Laureate and author of We're Going on a Bear Hunt, who told the Times that
he is not a big fan of the Potter books. He finds them "boring and
inappropriate for young readers" and would not read them to his own
"They don't grab me personally," he said. "I am
distant from them whereas I read some kids' books and I get quite drawn
in emotionally to them. Whereas authors like Enid Blyton are
hand-holding narrators who lead children into safe environments, J. K.
Rowling is more of an adult writer in that she leaves you hanging in
the air at the end of chapters with no idea what is going to happen
Stop us if you've heard this one before, but the Wall Street Journal's
L. Gordon Crovitz, inspired by an "In Stock" notice for Amazon's
sometimes elusive Kindle reading device, explored "the digital future
His verdict? The jury is still out.
Audible.com has begun a new program with the International Thriller Writers, in which each month ITW authors recommend audio editions of thrillers. Called Breakout Thrillers, the program begins this month with three authors and recommendations:
- Janet Evanovich, who chose Dead Ex by Harley Jane Kozak
- Tess Gerristen, who recommended Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger
- Steve Berry, who preferred The Reincarnationist by M.J. Rose
Audible and ITW earlier collaborated on The Chopin Manuscript, an original serialized novel that was nominated for two Audie Awards.