Notes: Store Changes; Stores Geared to Women and Families
Binghamton, N.Y., University's student-run newspaper, welcomed "River
Read Books, a new independent bookstore that offers students and
residents alike a more intimate alternative to larger chain stores."
Connie Barnes, one of three women who own the downtown bookshop and herself a Penguin sales rep, said, "We've always been a big part of the community. Now it's time for us to create this oasis in Binghamton. . . . We would like to be part of the movement that gets people back into the city, walking around Downtown. We're happy to be able to introduce people to the city.”
In an e-mail letter sent to "all loyal supporters" yesterday, John Lippman, co-owner of Stockbridge Booksellers, Stockbridge, Mass., wrote "It is with a heavy heart that I make official what many of you have heard as rumor for the last few weeks. Stockbridge Booksellers will be closing our doors at the end of November.
"We had hoped and still hope that someone or group of someones will want to continue this integral part of the Berkshire literary scene. However as of the date of this writing this has not happened. Please contact us soon if you or someone you know would want to help serve your community and run a great business at the same time in this way."
Angus & Robertson, whose parent company is the new owner of Borders stores in the South Pacific, has launched two stores in Melbourne, Australia, geared to women and families, Bookseller and Publisher Online reported.
The stores have four "lifestyle zones": My Self, My Family, My Home, My World. "We have moved from subject-based categories to a lifestyle store navigation with a layout that is closer in line with the books the customer wants," managing director David Fenlon said.
Marketing director Charlie Rimmer added, "We've got 'kids imagination,' 'kids education'--we think they're more relevant than hierarchies given to us previously [by publishers]. We've redefined the category hierarchy and used customer language rather than book language--and tried to buy the product that customers in these stores want."
And retail specialist Steve Kulmar, who worked with A&R on the project, told Inside Retailing that "the stores were designed to change the way customers shopped. 'Traditionally, people would not browse,' he said. 'They would come into the store, buy what they wanted, and leave. We're trying to say 'relax, take it easy, this is your bookstore and we've laid it out for you.' "
J.K. Rowling will help launch The Tales of Beedle the Bard by hosting a tea party for Edinburgh school children "at the National Library of Scotland, where Rowling will read extracts from the book," the Guardian reported, adding that "Rowling has waived her royalties for the book, with net proceeds from the sale to go to the charity she co-founded, the Children's High Level Group, which works with vulnerable children in eastern Europe."
"Hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children in eastern Europe are living in appalling conditions in large, residential institutions," she said. "Contrary to popular belief, fewer than 4% of them are orphans, but are in care because they are considered disabled or their families are poor or from ethnic minorities. The charity is publishing The Tales of Beedle the Bard to raise money to fund our work in helping these children out of institutions and in to loving families or community care homes.
The Book of Bunny Suicides by Andy Riley will not be returned to the Central Linn High School library in Halsey, Ore., any time soon. The Associated Press (via the Seattle Post-Intelligencer) reported that Taffey Anderson said the book "is not appropriate for anyone, but especially children. She inspected the book her 13-year-old son checked out of the library, and what she saw convinced her to never return it."