On August 18, Books-A-Million plans to open in yet another former Borders site, in Erie, Pa., in the Millcreek Mall, mall owner Cafaro Company said. The store will be BAM's sixth in Pennsylvania.
Under the Volcano Books, named in honor of the classic novel by Malcolm Lowry, will open in Mexico City October 15, according to Karen the Small Press Librarian's blog.
The founder of the English-language store is Grant Cogswell, an American with bookstore experience who moved to Mexico's capital in 2009 and "saw there wasn't really anything for readers of English," as he put it. The store will be in the Roma Norte area, a home to many ex-pats and artists.
Under the Volcano Books will carry "used contemporary and classic fiction and poetry, translations from the Spanish, politics, history, philosophy, urban planning and architecture, lit crit, interesting nonfiction, art books, punk culture, comics, travel books, language aids, 'expat lit.' "
There will be no wi-fi because "there's a kind of psychic silence that to me is very much associated with reading," Cogswell said. "I'd like it to be a place that a large assemblage of travellers and residents and even people in the English-speaking world who'll never go to Mexico recognize as an outpost of, I don't know, the examined life?"
The Wall Street Journal surveyed Amazon.com's war against sales tax collection and included details about the lengths the company has gone to try to keep a sales tax advantage over bricks-and-mortar stores. (The paper noted, "Amazon said it follows a 1992 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Legal experts say the retailer's approach is aggressive but within the law.")
One illustration is a color-coded map of the states that indicates what Amazon employees are allowed and not allowed to do in that state. At least in the past, Amazonians have been told they need approval to visit "bad" states and cannot do anything there that can be construed as selling or promoting products. In California, some employees were required to use special business cards saying they were from Amazon Digital Services rather than Amazon.com.
Amazon's third distribution center in Tennessee will be an existing warehouse rather than a newly constructed one. The Chattanooga Times Free Press reported Amazon has signed a short-term--two to three years--lease for an approximately 500,000-square-foot warehouse outside Nashville, "unlike in Southeast Tennessee where it's building two million-square-foot facilities."
"We'll work to expand their timeline," said G.C. Hixson, head of the Joint Economic and Community Development Board in Wilson County.
Dave Clark, Amazon's v-p of North American operations, said the company anticipates opening all three facilities by the fall.
But Republican State Senator Randy McNally observed that "one of the problems he has with the Amazon deals is that the public still doesn't know what type of financial arrangement the company has with the state" regarding sales taxes, the Times Free Press noted. "I assume they have a revenue letter or revenue variance from the previous commissioner of revenue," said McNally. "No one knows exactly what it is.... I'm hopeful Governor Haslam is negotiating with them, and it could be they end up negotiating a limited exemption from collecting the sales tax."
The Winchester Book Gallery, Winchester, Va., "has a new look and new owners," the Northern Virginia Daily reported. Last weekend, Brian and Christine Patrick took over the store from Andy and Jen Gyurisin, who had owned and operated it for the past five of its 25 years.
"One of the reasons why the bookstore has survived as long and longer than your big box stuff is because we've always had sort of a constant flow of fresh and new ideas coming in," Andy said, adding: "We have loved everything from the customers to the types of books being released to the community involvement. One of the goals that we had for this bookstore was to transform it into a strong community center--the arts, the music, the video, the literature--all them being blended together. I feel like we've successfully done that, and we're excited to know and to see what Christine will bring to that table."
Christine plans some changes, including an upgrade of the shop's technology, but said, "For a while, I'll run it just as it is. I just want to grow the bookstore as a bookstore. I'm excited about that."
This month's Booksellers Rock! profile from Algonquin Books focuses on Diesel Bookstore's John Peck. Our favorite part:
Strangest question a customer has ever asked:
"What is that word hidden behind the moon?" (On the cover of Go the F**k to Sleep.)
To which we can only respond, WTF?
Green Apple Books, San Francisco, Calif., is partnering with Books for Asia, part of the Asia Foundation, for an online children's book drive that will benefit students in developing Asian countries. The new initiative, called Choose Books, Change Lives, allows donors to purchase "book baskets" from Green Apple's online store. For more information, visit greenapplebooks.com.
Girl without another Dragon Tattoo.
Stieg Larsson's longtime partner, Eva Gabrielsson, now describes a possible fourth Millennium novel as something that "probably doesn't hang together." On BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour, she added that the late author had probably written "about 200 pages," but he was "a spontaneous writer. He could write scenes and not knit them together until later on. He just liked the scene. You can't call it a novel."
In bitter negotiations with Larsson's estranged father and brother, Gabrielsson had hinted that there was a fourth novel in the laptop owned by Larsson that she possessed.
In the Barnes & Noble Review, Philip Turner of Philip Turner Book Productions--and a former bookseller--honors "the generosity and moral passion" of the late William Styron and Robert Loomis, who recently retired from Random House after 55 years there. When Turner was an editor at Times Books, Loomis put Turner in touch with Styron, who made an extraordinary effort in support of Dead Run: The Shocking Story of Dennis Stockton and Life on Death Row in America. Published in 1999, the book included an introduction from Styron.
Book trailer of the day: Cabin Fever: A Suburban Father's Search for the Wild by Tom Montgomery Fate (Beacon Press).
"Yuppie Lit: Books About the Filthy Rich" were recommended by Flavorwire, which offered "an alternate list for those Hamptons residents and fair-weather visitors who are sick and tired of their bookstores being invaded by scowling tight-jeaned youths and adults wearing plaid shirts. We came up with a list of novels with acceptable characters for the lily-white denizens of the land where people use 'summer' as a verb and argue about ancestors who were on the Mayflower or about who is from 'new' money."
From beach reads to back-to-school reads... for adults. MSNBC.com recommended "10 books you really should have read in high school."
"I think that there are characters that it would be a shame not to meet like Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird or Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye," said Misha Stone of the Seattle Public Library. "I borrow from what world-renowned librarian Nancy Pearl says, and I will paraphrase here--everyone has a different definition of what would be considered a classic, but there are also books that it would be a shame to go through life not reading. There are books that speak to the human condition and the world we live (and lived) in in astonishing, thought-provoking, and life-changing ways."
What do writers eat? In a New York Times Sketchbook feature, Wendy MacNaughton pictured the "Snacks of the Great Scribblers," including Walt Whitman's oysters and meat, Vendela Vida's pistachios and Lord Byron's vinegar, which he sipped "to keep his weight down."
Potted Potter is a two-man show condensing the seven Harry Potter books into a 70-minute performance that "is as funny and inventive as you could wish for. Adults might take their children out of grim duty, but by the time they leave the theatre they're likely to be as captivated by Clarkson and Turner (Dan and Jeff to their increasingly adoring public) as their young charges," the Guardian reported.
Floating bed with bookcase. HomeTone featured Lago's AIR Bed, which derives its name "from the fact that it has four slabs of transparent crystal, giving it the impression of floating in the middle of the air. The bed apparently gives the user a feel of all those fairy tales where the magician used to have a flying carpet."
In addition to the bookcase at the foot of the bed, Lago's bookish mischievousness also includes "20 figures from Kama Sutra--all stenciled into the platform of the bed, underneath the mattresses."
Even if you're headed headed to Scotland later rather than sooner (the Edinburgh Fringe festival begins this Friday), the Guardian's guide to the "10 of the best literary haunts in Edinburgh" could help you locate "some of the literary hot spots that have inspired writers such as Ian Rankin and J.K. Rowling."
Jackie Harvey has joined Lerner Publishing Group as national educational sales director. She formerly was a product and marketing manager in the K-12 school division of Pearson. Earlier she worked at Harcourt School Publishers and ETA/Cuisenaire and taught for 12 years.