The Motley Fool
verdict on Google Editions: "Given the retail successes of Amazon's
Kindle, Barnes & Noble's Nook, and the Apple iPad, the time seems
absolutely ripe for a new way of enjoying books in a convenient, digital
format. Then again, things didn't exactly work out as planned when
Google tried to revolutionize the smartphone industry a year ago. The
difference is, Google has a lot of industry partners this time that
don't seem to mind playing in a new kind of sandbox."
In her December letter
to customers, Gayle Shanks, co-owner of Changing Hands, Tempe, Ariz., wrote, "We're wondering, as many of you are wondering, what impact e-books will have on bookstores and the way we all read books. Will you still come into the store for recommendations, to browse the miles of new and used books lined up on our shelves, to experience the sensual pleasure of seeing the most recent arrivals and old favorites featured in displays, or to hear authors read? Will you also download e-books on your computer, smartphone, iPad, Sony Reader or Nook? For our part, we believe books and e-books will co-exist peacefully.... We're hopeful that what has drawn readers to their neighborhood book shops for generations will survive the advent of these electronic devices. We also hope that if you use them, you'll buy e-books from us on devices that support choice and allow for a more level playing field. We think choice and diversity are important and hope you agree."
Similarly in a New York Times
story about the imminent launch of Google Editions--in which IndieBound bookstores can participate--American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher said, "It's clear that a certain percentage of readers are going to want to read books electronically, and independent bookstores can curate that content in the same way we curate content for physical books. This is an opportunity to do so, and we're eagerly looking forward to it."
--- Not Just A Bookstore
St. Louis, Mo., will host its grand re-opening in a new space at 4507
Manchester Ave., a year after closing its East Loop location "because
there wasn't enough revenue," the Riverfront Times
reported. Co-owner Connie Cheek said, "I see this as a community hub. I
want to empower people. I'm an advocate for literacy as well as a
bookstore owner." She plans to "keep her job as a branch administrator
at Edward Jones and leave the store in the hands of [husband] Richard
and her sister Rosemary Chinaza."
"I don't want to go into an
area and close up two years later like last time," she added. "Owning a
bookstore is a dream come true for me. There are kids in high school and
elementary school who are afraid to read out loud. I want to empower
The New York Times
headed to San Francisco, "a place, after all, where dozens of fiercely independent bookstores not only survive but thrive, thanks to a city of readers who seem to view books not only as a pleasure, but as a cause."
The paper continued, "Books, we are told, are a half-millennium-old technology on the cusp of being swept away forever. So a journey to San Francisco to immerse oneself in them might seem the cultural equivalent of going to visit the glaciers before they melt. But in San Francisco, the home of many of the very technologies that have drawn a bead on the book, visitors will find a living, historically rooted literary scene that, though it has surely heard the news of its own demise, isn't buying it."
Among the stores on the tour: Green Apple, City Lights, Modern Times, the Booksmith, Dog Eared Books and more.
Cool idea of the day: the cover of The Universe in Miniature in Miniature
by Patrick Somerville (Featherproof Books
) easily turns into a miniature mobile of the universe (see photo). The publisher has sent mobile kits, including popsicle sticks and strings, to some bookstores.
, the bookclub site with more than 26,000 registered bookclubs and more than 12,000 reading group guides, has picked Room
by Emma Donoghue as its first Member Book of the Year.
The New York Times
listed its 10 best books of 2010, and NPR began running its best books of 2010
, to which critics and contributors will continue to add their nominations during the coming weeks.
Baker & Taylor is holding a webinar on graphic novels that will take place next Wednesday, December 8, at 2 p.m. and last about 25 minutes. Participants will include Michele Gorman, teen services coordinator, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library; Françoise Mouly, editorial director, TOON Books; and John Shableski, sales manager, Diamond Book Distributors. Among subjects to be considered: why a library or retailer should stock graphic novels, how librarians and retailers can select titles appropriate for multiple audiences, how ratings work and what authors and titles they should know about.
The webinar is free. To register, click here
Amazon.com and Penguin Group are sponsoring the fourth annual Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award that will, for the second year in a row, have two categories: general fiction and YA novel. Writers from around the world with unpublished or self-published novels are invited to enter. Both grand prize winners will be published by Penguin and receive $15,000 advances.
The award process begins January 24 when up to 10,000 initial entries will be accepted. Amazon.com editors will select 1,000 entries from each category to go to the next round. Amazon editors and at least one Amazon reviewer will read excerpts from those entries and narrow the pool to 250 in each category. Then reviewers from Publishers Weekly
will read the full manuscripts and pick 50 semifinalists in each category. Penguin editors will then trim that group down to three in each category. A panel of professionals and Amazon customers will vote for the grand prize winner.
The 2010 awards drew thousands of entrants. The winning general fiction novel, Farishta
by Patricia McArdle, will be published next June by Riverhead. The winning YA novel, Sign Language
by Amy Ackley, will be published in August by Viking.
For more information, go to amazon.com/abna
In a similar vein, Melville House will publish the winner of the Paris Literary Prize, a €10,000 award for the best unpublished novella of the year. The prize was created this past summer by Shakespeare and Company in Paris. A panel of critics and writers as well as sponsors Shakespeare and Company and the De Groot Foundation will select the winner.
The deadline for submissions is December 18. For more information, go to ParisLiteraryPrize.com
Book trailer of the day: Year of Our Lord: Faith, Hope and Harmony in the Mississippi Delta
by T.R. Pearson, photographs by Langdon Clay (Mockingbird Publishing).
Headline of the day: "Sarah Palin Killed Davis-Kidd!!!!
." Nashville Scene
Betsy Phillips considered the big picture implications surrounding an
appearance by Palin at the Cool Springs Costco to promote her new book, America by Heart
It's not Banned Books Week, but book challenges are making news. According to USA Today
Deborah Caldwell-Stone, an attorney with the American Library
Association, said that while challenges were traditionally launched by a
parent, she has noticed "an uptick in organized efforts" to remove
books from public and school libraries, with several challengers using
"information provided on websites such as Parents Against Bad Books in
Schools, or PABBIS.org
, and Safelibraries.org
recent trend is a wave of complaints nationwide that have "stirred
emotional argument over just how much freedom should be extended to
students in advanced courses," including honors or college-level
courses, USA Today
"This is a relatively recent
phenomenon, and it's spreading," said Joan Bertin, executive director of
the National Coalition Against Censorship.
Is it cold in here or am I reading? The Guardian
featured a quiz devoted to cold weather in literature.
A photo of "teetering mountains of occult books
" in a Boston bookshop was showcased by Boing Boing.
Charles Day has joined Melville House as director of digital marketing and publicity. He is founder and publisher of the publisher A Barnacle Book and founder and director of Laughing Man Industries, a media marketing and consulting firm. Earlier he was general manager of Book Soup bookstore in Los Angeles, Calif., where he started as manager of marketing and new media development.