Using a procedure that was expanded under the Patriot Act, the FBI is
demanding records about patrons' reading materials and use of the
Internet from a Connecticut library, the New York Times
reported today. With help from the ACLU, the library has filed suit
against the FBI, saying that the library "believes it should not be
forced to disclose such records without a showing of compelling need
and approval by a judge." The ACLU is also seeking to lift the various
veils of secrecy about the case. (For one, the library has not been
The FBI is not using the well-known section 215 of the Patriot Act,
which encompasses bookstores, too; rather it is using a subpoena called
a national security letter. ACLU executive director Anthony D. Romero
said the case "shows that our supposed hysteria over the Patriot Act
wasn't so hysterical after all."
Doing away with a major irritant for booksellers, HarperCollins has begun to offer a "paperless" co-op process, Bookselling This Week
reported. Under the "Co-op Direct" program, retailers have several
options for getting co-op credit. With the paperless option, they can
send a single form to Harper and at the end of each month, e-mail a
spreadsheet showing what titles have been advertised. (Booksellers are
supposed to keep receipts on file for three years.) The ABA's David
Walker, director of special projects, called the program "a big
timesaver for booksellers, and we hope it will serve as a model for
In a first, the National Association of College Stores and the New
Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association are jointly sponsoring a
college bookstore shop talk session Friday, Sept. 23, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.,
at Colgate Bookstore in Hamilton, N.Y. The group will discuss general
book department issues, Web sites, university support, community
involvement, digital textbook matters and more.
While shop talks have been held regularly in various regions and in
central New York state, this is the first one involving NAIBA geared to
college stores, Rob Stahl, general book manager of Colgate Bookstore,
told Shelf Awareness
. He hopes 15-20 stores will participate, including
college booksellers and general booksellers in college towns. For more
information and to RSVP, contact Stahl at email@example.com.
In a nice pas de deux, Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops and the Milwaukee
Ballet are holding storytelling hours at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September
10, in all five Schwartz stores. Dancers will share books and stories;
children are encouraged to wear dance attire.
Andrew Laties, who runs a bookstore he founded at the Eric Carle Museum
in Amherst, Mass., and owned the Children's Bookstore in Chicago for 10
years, writes that his Rebel Bookseller
(Vox Pop, $14.95,
0975276344) is stocked at Ingram and available at, of all places,
Amazon.com. SCB Distributors will have bookstore distribution set soon.
(He has 150 opening orders from bookstores.) Part of his tour for the
book includes three "bookstore invention" classes at the Vox Pop store in
Brooklyn, N.Y., to be held next month--and at any other stores that
want to host. For more information, check out his blog at www.rebelbookseller.com
The Arizona Web Devil
noted that the newly renovated ASU Bookstore at Arizona State
University, Tempe, has added a Starbucks, magazine area and
computer products section. Borders was taken as a model; "the
coffee-magazine-book combination that the remodel created brought to
life the idea" store management had wanted to create.
It might be only a throwaway line, but in a followup to yesterday's story about HMV planning to bid for Ottakar's, Bloomberg
quoted a London stock market analyst as saying that Barnes & Noble,
which has no stores outside the U.S., "might also consider bidding."
Today other reports from the U.K. have added Borders, which owns Books
etc. and has some superstores in the U.K., to the list of possible
contenders to buy Ottakar's. Neither company has expressed any public interest in Ottakar's.
The Millbrook Voice Ledger
New York profiled the Recycled Reading Book Exchange, opened in June by
Lori Huff and Sherri Datres. With 13,000 used titles, the store has a
snack bar and is very clean. "We didn't want people to feel like
inferior citizens for wanting to buy inexpensive books," Huff told the
paper. "And I'm allergic to dust."
One of the more unusual books-and-other-product retail combinations has apparently melted, the Pioneer Press
reported. Just Thinking Books and Ice Cream in Hastings, Minn., is
closing today. Owner Pat Dymacek added ice cream to the stock when she
bought the store two and a half years ago. Impending lease renewal led her to
throw in the towel. She blamed an influx of big-box retailers (which
have included Wal-Mart, Cub Foods and Target) to the town and her own
business inexperience (for example, the lack of a Web site) for the