Notes: Bookstore Changes; Injunction Denied in Oregon
Sadly we have to report that Under the Sycamore Tree, Grayslake, Ill., the children's bookstore that opened in late 2006, will close August 1. Owner Jackie Harris wrote that as "happens with many journeys, an unexpected turn or two in the road can come along, and such is the case with mine." She and her husband have decided to shut the store "because of some recent health concerns, combined with other factors. . . . I need to do what is best for my family.
Harris added, "I am looking forward to working myself back to good health, being more available to help structure a better school year for my children next year, and maybe even having some time to sit down with a good book or two!"
She thanked her staff and both "immediate and extended communities," including "all those bookstore friends who have dropped by just to converse or pay one compliment or another about the store."
The Borders that will open in the Garden District of New Orleans, La., (Shelf Awareness, October 4, 2007) will be one of the company's new concept stores and will open in October, slightly earlier than previously expected.
On Monday, the district court judge hearing the suit against Oregon's minors' access law denied the plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction that would block enforcement of the law until a trial is held. Six Oregon booksellers, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression and several other groups filed a suit against the law that makes it a felony to allow a minor under 13 to view or purchase a "sexually explicit" work (Shelf Awareness, April 24, 2008).
ABFFE president Chris Finan said that while the plaintiffs were disappointed in the judge's decision, they are glad that the judge set an early date for the trial, October 3.
Bookstore owners in Aiken, S.C., told the Augusta Chronicle "they aren't concerned about Books-A-Million building a store at Aiken Mall."
"We have tried and true customers who are looking for speciality books," said Meg Ferguson of the Book Stall. "We pride ourselves on carrying a much wider selection, not just the New York Times best-sellers. We know our clients personally. We've delivered books to people who are sick or homebound, or we'll see books coming out that a customer would like, and we'll call them up."
Fran Bush, owner of the Booklovers Bookstore, added, "We have some of everything. Our used book section is tremendous, and that's a lot of our trade. We're still going to be here."
Writing is hard, but autographing may be harder. USA Today reported that Janet Evanovich is wearing a brace on her right hand after a six-city tour to promote Fearless Fourteen.
"It's at least 1,000 people at each signing, which goes on for at least five hours, and they all have four or five books," she said. "The human thumb is not designed to do that six days in a row."
A rare first edition of Jane Austen's Emma sold for a record-breaking £180,000 (US$354,267) during an auction at Bonhams in London. According to the Guardian, the "triple-decker edition was inscribed on behalf of Austen to her close confidante, the governess Anne Sharp. One of only 12 presentation copies printed, which otherwise went to family members and publisher John Murray's contacts, it was the only one given to a friend of the author."
Lerner Publishing Group and USA Today have created a partnership to produce a program of new educational books for children and young adults. The first series will the USA Today Lifeline Biographies about both historical and popular "compelling" people mainly using USA Today material. The first four titles are Bill Gates: Entrepreneur and Philanthropist, Oprah Winfrey: Global Media Leader, Tiger Woods: Golf's Master and Vera Wang: Enduring Style. Future titles include biographies of presidents, Hollywood stars, and more.
Four titles will be available, too, from Lerner's Twenty-First Century Books division.
Effective July 7, Felicia Frazier will become senior v-p, director of sales, for the Penguin Young Readers Group. Most recently she was v-p, sales director for national accounts, brand and category management, at Random House.
The company lauded Frazier's experience in sales and brand selling, in expanding sales at the chains and in directing the company's licensed program development with companies such as Disney and Nickelodeon, among other accomplishments. Her "sales management experience, along with her expertise in maximizing brand sales, will benefit the Young Readers Group greatly as Penguin Group (USA) moves forward in growing this important part of the Group," Penguin stated.