Notes: Peppertree and Kudzu Close; Comic Store Honored
Four-year-old Peppertree Bookstore, Palm Springs, Calif., has closed, the Desert Sun reported. Last month owner Chris Johnson told the paper that "he was considering expanding but was also evaluating how a proposed big-box bookstore downtown would affect his business."
Peppertree had opened a much larger second store in nearby Old Town La Quinta last year, but closed it in the fall after just six months in business. That store's opening had been delayed by construction and permit problems.
Peppertree was the main sponsor of the Palm Springs and Coachella Valley Book Festival, but cancelled last November's festival because of a lack of support from other companies and organizations. At the time, Peppertree said it was not in a financial position to support the festival singlehandedly.
Peppertree is hosting on one final event: Robert Novak, author of The Prince of Darkness: 50 Years Reporting in Washington, will appear on Thursday, January 24, at the Rancho Mirage Public Library.
Kudzu Book Traders, the Cartersville, Ga., remainder and bargain book dealer that was created to be the sister company of Academic Book Services, is closing at the end March.
In a statement, Kudzu president Britt Hinton said that the death of founder Steve Wilson last August as well as "the lack of required resources for future growth and the uncertain business environment" led to the decision to go out of business. Hinton emphasized that the company intends" to fulfill our current obligations and work closely with our lending institution, vendors and customers during this process."
Kudzu and Academic shared two warehouses with more than 270,000 square feet of space until Academic was sold to Follett in late 2006. Kudzu's biggest customers have included Barnes & Noble, Borders, Hastings and Books-A-Million.
Betsy Amster, a literary agent in Los Angeles, Calif., who used to be an editor at Pantheon, pointed out that the top 10 bookshops in the world listed by Sean Dodson in the Guardian (and mentioned here yesterday) includes one store in the U.S.: Secret Headquarters in Los Angeles. Dodson wrote:
"A mere profiterole to the fabulous layer cakes of Porto and Buenos Aires [you have to read the whole article to get this lead-in!], but the Secret Headquarters more than holds its own. Nestled in the creative cluster of Silver Lake, just east of Hollywood, this boutique store offers a sophisticated alternative to most of its rivals and has a reputation for being one of the neatest, friendliest comic stores anywhere. Canadian science fiction author Cory Doctorow rates it as the finest in the world."
Amster added that Secret Headquarters is "a small comics bookstore on a trendy (but still attractively gritty) stretch of Sunset Blvd. in Silver Lake. When you enter, you feel as if you've stepped back in time--it's very old-fashioned. My only connection to it is that it's in my neighborhood, and I'm a big fan."
Book Culture, the New York City bookstore formerly known as Labyrinth Books, has begun a blog that includes Q&As with authors who appeared at the store last fall, news, author posts, book recommendations and more.
Incidentally the store's new marketing and events manager--since November--is Kelly Amabile, a writer, researcher and editor specializing in travel and books who has a blog, Lost in Place, that we've mentioned several times for its references to bookstores around the world.
International Publishers Marketing has added two clients:
Double Storey, a trade division of Juta Press, is a South African house that publishes titles in travel, food and wine, art and music, natural history and geology, memoirs and biography, history, business, spirituality and health.
Garnet Publishing is a U.K. publisher specializing in books about the Arab world and Islam in the fields of architecture, art, cookery, travel, culture, heritage and history.
IPM recently added Beautiful Books (U.K.) and Ransom Books (U.K.) to its stable, which includes Allison & Busby (U.K.), Duckworth (U.K.), the American University in Cairo Press (Egypt), Chaucer/ Mercury (U.K.), ATF Press (Australia), Beautiful Books (U.K.), Struik Publishers (South Africa), the National Archives (U.K.) and its in-house publishing arm, Capital Books.