Notes: Busman's Holiday; Columbia Fulfillment Moving to Perseus
Paul Hanson, manager of Eagle Harbor Book Co., Bainbridge Island, Wash., is taking an unusual busman's holiday this week: he's managing Riverwalk Books, Chelan, Wash., while owner Libby Manthey and her family are in Hawaii for her son's college graduation. Had Hanson not volunteered to take over at Riverwalk, Manthey had planned to shut the store for the week, since it's mainly a family-run operation.
As Hanson wrote in the PNBA Newsletter, when he learned of Mathey's plans to go to Hawaii and close Riverwalk Books, "I quipped that I could always come and watch her store for a week. We had a good laugh at that . . . and then thought for a moment. Our bookstores do have the same inventory control system. I've been in the business for a more than a few years, sold many a book in my day, and have even worn the barista cap in my varied past so the espresso could keep flowing. We looked at each other and realized this really was a great idea."
The switch is all the more amusing because Hanson is the immediate past president of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. When he gave up the post this spring, his replacement was . . . Libby Manthey.
Hanson is tweeting about what he called "our misadven-- . . . I mean adventures" at ehbcPaulHanson.
"So many readers begin a passionate love of books in the aisles of good bookstores," observed the New Directions newsletter in the first of what it termed occasional columns featuring "bookstores around the nation whose shelves are filled with the books that spark a lifelong devotion to great reads." The most recent issue showcased Michael Fox, owner of Joseph Fox Bookshop, Philadelphia, Pa.
"My fondest memory of books is my father's love and passion for them," said Fox. "He struggled through the depression, served in World War II, never even finished high school but his passion for good books caused him to open the store and not a night would go by that he didn't find time to read into the late hours. I don't have that luxury. . . . My proudest accomplishment as a bookseller is staying in business under the onslaught of the chains and online competition while maintaining the integrity of the bookshop."
The English Major Bookstore, Memphis, Tenn., was described as the "perfect place to browse for a good read without worrying about pocketbook woes or stumbling over crowds" by the Daily News.
"Today, a lady called it her escape," said owner Karin Morley, adding, "This is my starter store, and I really believe that. It may not be the best location, but it's the best location for what's going on right now."
WTAP-TV in Parkersburg, W. Va., reported that second hand shops "are thriving among their competition" despite the bad economy.
"It's not like your typical used book store," said Marianne Monaghan, owner of Books and Art bookshop, noting that last month had been the shop's best April to date. "Often you find books stacked on the floor and they're dirty. Our books are clean and well organized. We do special orders, we are happy to order new books or used, whatever you need. We can find it for you. We know our books."
The Philippine Daily Inquirer provided an updated "Timeline and Readings" regarding the Great Book Blockade of 2009 (Shelf Awareness, May 4, 2009), including a link to a "Position Paper of the Book Development Association of the Philippines Re: Tax and Duty Free Importation of Books" and a Facebook group established by Louie Aguinaldo, called "Filipinos Against the Taxation of Books by Customs." Manuel L. Quezon III also wrote an opinion piece for the Inquirer, titled, "A conspiracy of officials."
Columbia University Press is closing its warehouse in Irvington, N.Y., this summer and will have all its fulfillment operations handled by Perseus Distribution. The press called this "part of an overall effort to improve print economics while facilitating electronic delivery," particularly short run digital publishing, POD and e-books in a variety of formats. Some 25 jobs will be lost.
In a statement, Jim Jordan, president and director of Columbia University Press, praised "the dedicated staff" of the warehouse and said the change "will allow us to continue to acquire and publish outstanding scholarship in all our core fields and to remain the strong force we have become in international academic publishing."
The press distributes titles for 11 publishers, including the University of Tokyo Press, the European Consortium for Political Research and Edinburgh University Press.
Stuart Carter has been promoted to worldwide Amazon Czar (we kid you not) at Diamond Book Distributors, where he will work with Amazon U.S., Canada, U.K., France, Japan, Germany and China to manage the global supply chain and create worldwide promotions. DBD v-p, sales and marketing, Kuo-Yu Liang commented, "To say it as plainly as possible, Stuart's job is to sell as many books for our publishers through Amazon worldwide as possible."
Carter has worked at DBD for six years and been sales manager to Amazon U.S., Levy, Target, Hudson News and Hastings. Earlier he worked at Waldenbooks, Bookazine, Golden-Lee and HMS Host.