"I don't like Amazon. It has only two things going for it. It is cheap and efficient. But we can give you so much more," James Daunt--who becomes the new managing director of British bookstore chain Waterstone's next month--told the Guardian. He also noted that he is convinced there is a future for books and bookstores: "When people say books are dead, I don't recognize that. Why wouldn't you want to spend half an hour in a really nice bookshop?"
Noting that "next to sunscreen and a beach towel, a good book may be one of the most important accessories of the season, the Glens Falls Post Star asked for summer reading recommendations from upstate New York indie booksellers Susan Fox and Naftali Rottenstreich, co-owners of Red Fox Books, Glens Falls; and Connie Brooks, owner of Battenkill Books, Cambridge.
"Something that you can completely escape into makes a good summer read," said Brooks. "I think people have more time to read in the summer. They want something good and long."
Fox added: "Many people are looking for something lighter in theme. It's not when they want to read anything heavy. They want a paperback, so they don't care if it gets sand or water on it."
The Washington Post's Impulsive Traveler explored the "hidden pleasures of the secondhand bookstore" at the Owl Pen Books, Greenwich, N.Y., a "hidden farm full of wonderful books, a reward for those who take the trouble to find it"; Lyrical Ballad Books, Saratoga Springs, N.Y., an "underground maze containing antiquarian treasures"; and Hermit Hill Books, Poultney, Vt., "a light-filled place of books, cats and corgis."
WSJ article disses YA books; the Twitter community shows support with the #YASaves hashtag.
Check out Bluestone Bookshop, the new Random House website where independent booksellers can find all kinds of digital marketing material to use on their store websites, e-newsletters, blogs, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
On the site, Bluestone Bookshop founders Ruth Liebmann and Liz Lesnick and their colleagues also talk about books they love, and some high-profile writers and designers are already joining the conversation. For one, Gary Shteyngart is offering the prize in a new contest for indies and their customers. To enter the Super Happy Bookloving Dogs Contest, contestants need to send in a picture of them reading Super Sad True Love Story with their dog. The winner will have naming rights on the dog in Shteyngart's next novel.
San Francisco's Modern Times Bookstore has reopened at 2919 24th Street, sharing a space with Galeria Paloma. The store collective spent much of May setting up the new space and wrote: "At our new location, we have the same selection of English and Spanish books, as well as (but limited to) a large fiction and poetry selection, children's books, political and academic titles, resources for activists and the radical/progressive communities, queer and sex books, small press and independent publishers, local author consignments, California and travel books, gardening and cookbooks, and much more!"
Congratulations to Rueben Martinez, owner of Libreria Martinez Books and Art Gallery, Santa Ana, Calif. Last Friday, Chapman University, Orange, Calif., gave him an honorary doctorate of humane letters for advocating literacy, especially in the Latino community, the Orange County Register reported.
For the past two years, Martinez has been a Presidential Fellow at Chapman, where he helps recruit students. In 2004, he received a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant.
Book trailer of the day: The Oregon Experiment by Keith Scribner (Knopf).
Wired's John C. Abell offered "5 Reasons Why E-Books Aren't There Yet":
- An unfinished e-book isn't a constant reminder to finish reading it.
- You can't keep your books all in one place.
- Notes in the margins help you think.
- E-books are positioned as disposable, but aren't priced that way.
- E-books can't be used for interior design.
"It's a truism that no new medium kills the one that it eclipses," Abell wrote. "We still have radio, which pre-dates the Internet, television and movies. So it would be foolish to predict the death of books anytime soon. And we haven't seen the end of creative business models--there is no 'all access pass' in book publishing, as is the trend now for magazines and the newspapers which have put up paywalls. Getting an e-book along with your print edition (or, the other way around) could be the best of both worlds, or the worst. It would certainly solve my unexpected home decor problem."
Cool bookstore photo of the day: A bookshop pianist was spotted at Richard Booth's Bookshop, Hay-on-Wye, Wales during the Hay Festival.
J.K. Rowling was interviewed by Words with Jam, where, among other topics, she considered the eternal debate about literary vs. genre fiction: "There has always been an overlap. The late J.G. Ballard being the modern example that springs to mind; an outstanding writer who 'transcended' the science fiction genre. I am pretty indifferent to the distinction between 'literary' and 'genre' fiction myself, and I hop pretty freely between the two as a reader without feeling remotely as though I am 'slumming it.' So-called 'genre' fiction has given us deathless characters like Sherlock Holmes, Ford Prefect and James Bond, who have forever influenced our culture and language; what is there to be snobbish about?"