Notes: BAM Sales Bump; Quake Rocks Stores
Happy palindromic 01/11/10!
Sales at Book-A-Million during the nine weeks ending January 2 fell 4.5%, to $122.1 million, while in the same period, sales at BAM stores open at least a year fell 6.2%.
In a statement, BAM chairman, president and CEO said: "Given the challenging comparison to last year's phenomenal success of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series, we were pleased with our execution during the holiday season. As was the case last year, customers shopped late in the season and proved to be value conscious responding well to our marketing efforts, bargain book department and in-store promotions."
The Book Patrol blog at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
posted photos of damage to Eureka Books and Bookleggers bookstore from
Saturday's 6.5 magnitude earthquake in Northern Californa.
The Hub City Writers Project, Spartanburg, S.C., has begun a fundraising campaign to open a bookstore this spring on the ground floor of the Masonic Temple building in downtown Spartanburg, the group said.
The funds will be used to renovate the 3,000-sq.-ft. space and install fixtures. The store plans to stock "hundreds of titles, including bestsellers, regional books, university press books, children's books, and used books."
Proceeds from store sales will be used to fund "literary programming, Hub City Press publishing operations, college scholarships for local creative writers, and other charitable activities." Staff will be a mix of paid and volunteer people. The Press has published more than 40 books during the past 15 years. The Hub City Writers Project also hosts a writers conference, sponsors the South Carolina First Novel Contest, provides scholarships to creative writers and holds workshops and readings.
Project executive director Betsy Teter said: "This landmark bookstore will be on the leading edge of a new business model emerging in the bookselling industry--non-profit bookstores financially supported by communities of book-lovers and civically-engaged residents."
The Daily of the University of Washington covered the 110th birthday (and birthday party yesterday) of the University Book Store, with eight stores in and around Seattle, which is as much a general bookstore as college store.
"We're one of the few stores nationally that was started and continues to be run by students for its entirety," CEO Bryan Pearce noted.
Book trailer of the day (revisited since the link on Friday didn't work): The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun by Gretchen Rubin (Harper).
Our friends at Unshelved.com have begun reviewing books, about five a week. Check out the first reviews here.
Don't do it yourself just yet.
Oxmoor House recalled 951,000 home improvement books "because of errors that could lead do-it-yourselfers to make risky mistakes while installing or repairing their electrical wiring. The errors in technical diagrams and wiring instructions could cause people to be shocked or create a fire hazard," according to the Associated Press (via ABC News). The Consumer Product Safety Commission said no incidents have been reported. The titles being recalled are:
- AmeriSpec Home Repair Handbook
- Lowe's Complete Home Improvement and Repair
- Lowe's Complete Home Wiring
- Sunset Basic Home Repairs
- Sunset Complete Home Wiring
- Sunset Complete Patio Book
- Sunset Home Repair Handbook
- Sunset Water Gardens
- Sunset You Can Build--Wiring
The AP also noted that bookshops and home improvement stores "sold the recalled books from January 1975 through December 2009."
A pair of indie bookstores in Minnesota--the Bookcase, Wayzata, and Uncle Hugo's & Uncle Edgar's, Minneapolis--are "fighting to stay alive" in challenging times, KARE-TV reported.
"Even with our small size, we still have about 15,000 different books on the shelf, that's a lot of books," said Charlie Leonard, owner of the Bookcase. "We know our customers, we know what they like and know what they want to read."
Don Blyly, owner of Uncle Hugo's & Uncle Edgar's, said, "We're hanging in there, it's tough, but hanging in there.... It's important for bookstores to figure out how to adapt to times, be relevant, make customers understand that you need us to stick around."
The Kindle e-reader isn't having much of an impact on India yet, and analysts aren’t optimistic about its short-term prospects. PC World reported that "estimates of the number of these devices sold in India since October, when Amazon started shipping the device to the country, range from a few hundred to about 1,000 units."
Arpan Gupta, an analyst for IDC India, said there "isn't as yet a market in India for a specialized reading device at the price of a Kindle.... For a market where PC penetration is still low, users would rather pay some more and buy a laptop, which has a lot more features than a specialized e-reader." Gupta also observed that "Indians are still used to reading physical books and newspapers, rather than electronic editions."
Obituary note: Vermont folk artist Stephen Huneck, whose popular books about his Labrador Retrievers included Sally Goes to the Beach, Sally Goes to the Farm and Sally Gets a Job, died last Thursday. He was 60. His wife said that Huneck, who commited suicide, "was despondent after being forced to lay off employees at his Dog Mountain studio and dog chapel," the Associated Press reported (via the Times Argus).
Friends and family of Joel C. Turner, longtime bookseller and co-owner of Under Cover Books, who died last month (Shelf Awareness, December 10, 2009), are meeting this coming Wednesday, January 13, 6-8 p.m., at the Old Town Bar & Restaurant, second floor, 45 E. 18th St. in New York City. All are invited to come and share recollections and stories.