As if to emphasize why Barnes & Noble and Amazon lowered prices on their e-readers on Monday, Apple yesterday announced it has sold more than three million iPads. The device went on sale April 3 in the U.S. and worldwide last month. The pace is faster than most predicted. As the Wall Street Journal
noted: "Some analysts last month projected about half [the actual total] would be sold in Apple's fiscal third quarter, which ends next week."
Borders Group joined the e-reader price wars, announcing yesterday that a $20 Borders gift card will be bundled with its new $149 Kobo e-reader, developed by an international group led by Indigo in Canada. Borders also offers the $119 Libre eBook Reader Pro.
"With two of the most aggressively priced eReaders on the market, we've already made clear our commitment to make it easy for every consumer to begin enjoying digital books today," Borders CEO Mike Edwards said.
Initial advance orders for the Kobo e-reader sold out, and additional Kobos are shipping now. The Kobo will be sold at Borders retail stores beginning in early September.
In some cases, the e-reader price cuts are retroactive. B&N and Amazon will refund the difference in price to customers who bought e-readers recently, the Wall Street Journal said.
In Amazon's case, it will give a $70 credit to customers whose Kindles shipped in the last 30 days. B&N will give a $10 refund and $50 gift card to customers who are within the 14-day return policy period.
The Fresno Bee interviewed local indie
booksellers regarding their attitudes toward e-readers, and noted
that Jean Shore, owner of Fig
Garden Bookstore "has survived plenty of business challenges in
almost 25 years as a bookseller."
"We'll have to diversify and
learn to do things differently," Shore said.
Shore's daughter, isn't sure what impact e-books will have on the
bookshop, "but e-books are the future, and I hope the future leads us to
a place where there's room for everything. This is 2010, and times are
changing. Some of my best friends have e-readers now . . . but they're
still buying printed books, too."
Sally Brewer, owner of the Book
Garden bookstore, Exeter, said, "We have customers who read both
e-books and printed books. They have access to e-readers, but they still
like to have a touchy-feely book." Other patrons, however, "are totally
devoted to books. A lot of them don't have computers, and they're very
Congratulations to Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, Colo., which is celebrating a trifecta of anniversaries this Friday. It is the store's 30th year in business, its 10th year with current owners Susie Wilmer and Richard Sommerfeld and one full year since it moved downtown to a historic building, a former firehouse, and changed its name from the Book Rack of Fort Collins.
The Friday party will feature local craft beer, tea from a local teahouse, appetizers from the Food Co-op, a string quartet and a literary trivia.
In his Atlantic.com column this week, Peter Osnos, founder and editor-at-large of PublicAffairs, praised the "generation of master booksellers, leaders in the field of independent bookselling from as far back as the 1970s," exemplifed by Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade, owners of Politics and Prose, Washington, D.C., who recently put the store up for sale. "What characterizes these stalwarts is their commitment to the art of hand-selling good books and the evolving science of marketing in which, it seems, a new challenge emerges every few years since the mid-1980s."
Osnos went on to praise other favorite booksellers, "all of them, as it happens, women who have set standards of success and stature among their peers," and all of them among our very favorite booksellers: Joyce Meskis, Elaine Petrocelli, Barbara Morrow, Roberta Rubin, Roxanne Coady and Diane Garrett.
More than 20 individuals and groups, many of whom are longtime customers or particularly value its role as "an influential tastemaker" or both, have approached Politics and Prose about buying the store, Barbara Meade told the New York Times.
One group includes agent Raphael Sagalyn, New Republic editor Franklin Foer and Jeffrey Goldberg, a national correspondent for the Atlantic. Another group, led by law professor Nicholas Kittrie, consists of "about 10 people in the publishing, radio and electronic communications industries."
Meade said that she and Cohen want to be sure new owners are a good fit. "We're not going to sell unless it's a person we feel completely comfortable with and would be as devoted to books and our customers as we have been."
In any case, business is humming along. Meade told the Times that April sales were nearly $676,000, up 15.6% from the same period in 2009.
Book trailer of the day: Art of McSweeney's (Chronicle), which features art and design from a range of McSweeney's books, magazines, journals and more.
More on author typewriters: the typewriter owned for at least a few years by John Updike and mentioned here yesterday sold for $4,375 at Christie's, according to the New York Times. The house had estimated its value at $4,000-$6,000.
At the same auction yesterday, a manual typewriter--a Hermes 3000, for cognescenti--used by Jack Kerouac from 1966 until his death in 1969, sold for $22,500.
Blending World Cup fever and
performance poetry, "four of the U.K.'s best performance poets have
scored resounding winners with a specially-commissioned series of short
spoken word films . . . Football Stories, jointly commissioned by arts
centres ARC in Stockton on Tees and The Albany in Deptford, South East
London, features films by Scroobius Pip, Polarbear, Kat Francois and
Charlie Dark," Book Trade reported.
Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg, an
exhibition that will run until September 16 at the National Gallery of
Art in Washington, D.C., was showcased by Boing Boing, which noted that "Ginsberg started
taking photographs as a young man, in the 1940s, and kept doing so
through 1963, when his camera was left behind on a trip to India. The
result was a kind of Beat family photo album."
you know your literary siblings? The Guardian is testing "your knowledge of
sibling strife and cooperation in the literary world."
Gaiman, John Hodgman, and OK Go's Damian Kulash sang "Happy Together"
in St. Paul, Minn., last Friday at WITS, "a fabulous Minnesota Public
Radio series that features famous writers, fun tunes, laughing and
sing-a-longs," Boing Boing reported.