Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Holiday House: Ros Demir Is Not the One by Leyla Brittan

HarperAlley: I Shall Never Fall In Love by Hari Conner

W. W. Norton & Company to Sell and Distribute Yale University Press and Harvard University Press

Clarion Books: The Man Who Didn't Like Animals by Deborah Underwood, Illlustrated by LeUyen Pham

Holiday House: Bye Forever, I Guess by Jodi Meadows and Team Canteen 1: Rocky Road by Amalie Jahn

Wednesday Books: Dust by Alison Stine


Poisoned Pen Central in Phoenix Rises Again

The Poisoned Pen Central store in Phoenix, Ariz., re-opened on Monday after being closed for more than two weeks. The closing had "nothing to do with the store itself," said manager David Strang. City officials shut down the historic building that houses Poisoned Pen and other businesses on July 21 because of electrical and structural problems.

The store is Poisoned Pen's second store, opened early last year. Its main store is in Scottsdale.

A temporary order of occupancy has allowed Poisoned Pen to resume operations, and any remaining issues are not expected to impact the business. The art gallery that occupies most of the c. 1918 building remains closed except for special events. One event will take place this afternoon when Poisoned Pen (which uses the gallery space for signings) hosts Paul Goldstein, author of Errors and Omissions, and Gerald T. McLaughlin, author of The Parchment, as part of a series in conjunction with the Arizona Bar Association.

The store has used its e-mail newsletters to "get the word back out that we're open," said Strang. "We haven't had any problem with customers coming back." Poisoned Pen's re-opening received coverage in the Arizona Republic, and neighboring tenant Arcadia Farms City Bakery also used its e-mail list to bring in customers. "Fortunately this didn't happen in December," noted Strang. "I didn't schedule a lot of events for August because it's a slower time, so I think we'll be O.K."--Shannon McKenna

 Treasure Books, Inc.: There's Treasure Inside by Jon Collins-Black

Notes: Mayor Bookseller?; Oprah Effect; B&N Stores

Another bookseller-mayor?

Craig Maxwell, owner of Maxwell's House of Books in La Mesa, Calif., is a candidate for mayor of La Mesa, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. Maxwell, who founded the store three years ago, is grandson of Vernon Wahrenbrock, who was the longtime owner of Wahrenbrock's Books in San Diego.

If elected, Maxwell would join such illustrious company as Neal Coonerty of Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, Calif., Richard Howorth of Square Books, Oxford, Miss., and Tom Lowry of Lowry's Books in Three Rivers and Sturgis, Mich. (and mayor of Three Rivers).


Starbucks, which has chosen Mitch Albom's forthcoming For One More Day to be the first major book title it sells under the new program it announced earlier this year, will sell the book at its full retail price of $21.95. When we wrote yesterday's issue, we had thought the company would discount the title--but we were misinformed.


The Chicago Sun-Times delves into what it takes for an author to get on Oprah. The main example is Michele Weldon, a Chicago native and journalism professor who thought her 1999 memoir, I Closed My Eyes: Revelations of a Battered Woman, was ideal for Oprah. Weldon called 12 times over the years and eventually was granted an appearance--although no book club selection. Weldon estimated that she sold 35,000 copies of the book because of her appearance. Not surprisingly, she commented: "So I forever respect her impact on the marketplace."


Barnes & Noble has signed leases for two more stores, one of which will replace an existing store. Both outlets will stock the usual nearly 200,000 book, music, movie and magazine titles.

In Huntsville, Ala., a new store that will open in May 2007 in the Bridge Street Town Centre at I-565 and Highway 72/Highway 255 will replace the current B&N at University Village.

Also next May, B&N will open a store in Cherry Hill, N.J., in Town Place at Garden State Park at 911 Haddonfield Road.


The Houstonist speculates that the former Alabama Theater in Houston, Tex., home of one of the first Bookstops and one of the first bookstores in a onetime theater, may be redeveloped and that Bookstop, owned by Barnes & Noble since 1989, may either be forced out or be replaced by "the possibility" of a new Barnes & Noble at the River Oaks shopping center.


Strictly by the Book, the bargain and remainder company, has bought a 255,000-sq.-ft. warehouse in Bridgewater, Mass., near its Fall River, Mass., headquarters, and will use it for book sorting, according to Bargain Book News. CEO Erez Bredmehl said that the company will expand its "sorting units up to a half million a week."


Bargain Book News
also reported that West Coast Bargain Books is closing. Owner Mitch Press will stay in the business and work for his brother, Jeff Press, owner of World Publications, North Dighton, Mass. 

Help a Bookseller, Change a Life: Give today to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation!

Louisiana Libraries Struggle to Refill Shelves

The AP (via the Leesville Daily Leader) discusses how libraries in and around New Orleans have sought to rebuild collections destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Some libraries are taking this as an opportunity to try to update titles, "with greater concentrations of best sellers and political tell-alls interlarded with a sampling of classics and reference books, especially the manuals on home repair, interior decorating and landscaping that are in high demand since Katrina."

Many libraries were underfunded before Katrina. Insurance and FEMA have provided some financial help, but a reduced tax base may cut into available money from local governments.

In many systems, the main library fared well but branch libraries' collections were ruined. This has led certain systems to tailor replacement collections more closely than before to branch patrons' tastes and interests. For example, "Jefferson librarians bought books in Spanish when reopening the Kenner branch, an area that has become something of a magnet for Hispanic people and for Spanish-speaking work crews. To help native English speakers who work with the crews, they added compact discs that teach 'Spanish for contractors.' " Similarly "when restocking the Alvar branch in the Bywater neighborhood, library staff bolstered the supply of gay and lesbian material and added books deemed to be of interest to African-Americans."

Some libraries have weeded out older books, even "some perfectly good books."

The many donations of used books have been a mixed blessing. Some of the books have been useful, but many are "too dated or obscure" to keep. Some donations have been laughable: for example, a New Orleans branch received a pallet of Russian-English dictionaries. In addition, shortages of staff have made processing books difficult.

On the other hand, libraries have been grateful for donations of new books, particularly direct from publishers. At the New Orleans Public Library, a vendor helping to unload some 5,000 books donated by publishers called the event "Extreme Makeover: Library Edition."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Unnatural Disasters on the Book Report

Today on NPR's All Things Considered: Edward P. Jones, author of All Aunt Hagar's Children: Stories (Amistad Press, $25.95, 0060557567).


Today on the Diane Rehm Show: Jennifer Egan, author of The Keep (Knopf, $23.95, 1400043921).


On this morning's Writer's Roundtable on World Talk Radio, Antoinette Kuritz talks with literary agent Scott Hoffmann of Folio Literary Agency and Phil Margolin about his new book, Proof Positive (HarperCollins, $25.95, 0060735058).


The Book Report, the weekly AM radio book-related show organized by Windows a bookshop, Monroe, La., will feature two author interviews on today's show, which has the theme Unnatural Disasters:

  • Ivor van Heerden, deputy director of the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center and author of The Storm: What Went Wrong and Why During Hurricane Katrina--The Inside Story from One Louisiana Scientist (Viking, $25.95, 0670037818)
  • Juan Williams of NPR's Morning Edition whose new book is Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure that Are Undermining Black America--And What We Can Do About It (Crown, $25, 0307338231).

The show airs at 8 a.m. Central Time and can be heard live at; the archived edition will be posted this afternoon.

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