Renovations have been completed at Water Street Bookstore and Time of Wonder children's bookshop, Exeter, N.H. According to Seacoastonline.com, "shopping has become easier and more enjoyable" in the new space. Owner Dan Chartrand had wanted to connect the two bookstores "for about the last five years."
"Our look was pretty tired after 16 years," he said, adding that in talking with his customers he had concluded that they wanted a separate, but connected, kids' section. These areas are now separated by a brick archway. "We've given our patrons and staff what they wanted," he added.
Other changes include opening up the backs of the stores with large windows looking out on the river, and the addition of a couch and tables to the front. While Water Street Bookstore plans to celebrate the renovations with a series of events in April and May, the new look was described as just the first wave of changes.
"There are more waves coming," Chartrand said, including an upgrade of the stores' technology and working toward more energy efficiency.
Cool idea of the day: for an April 4 event featuring Margaret Cezair-Thompson, author of The Pirate's Daughter; Deborah Noyes, author of Angel and Apostle; and Pamela Thompson, author of Every Past Thing, the Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, Mass., has chosen the theme: "Women Who Take Risks and Break the Rules."
Alan Wastell, owner of Bookends Bookstore, Napa, Calif., told the Napa Valley Register that due to "falling walk-in traffic, online competition and downtown construction," he will close his bookshop when the lease expires at the end of May. Bookends was opened 35 years ago by Thomas and Angie Pieper. Wastell purchased it from Jerry Doherty in 2003.
"As much as I would like to continue, we haven't been earning anything from the store for a while," he said. "We can't afford to lose any more on the business."
MSNBC.com's Eve Tahmincioglu posed the question, "Did Borders kill the small, downtown bookstore?" and answered affirmatively, even as she confessed that her favorite bookstore, Ninth Street Books, Wilmington, Del., ranks third on her priority list when she needs "to buy a book fast."
Suspecting that recent news about economic troubles for Borders Group might be good news for indies, she spoke with Ninth Street owner Jack Buckley.
"Business is awful," he said, adding that Wilmington is a "retail wasteland. . . . Even when companies relocate to the city, they bring the mentality with them that they had at their office parks. They don't leave the building and venture outside. We used to have a big business clientele, but no more."
When Buckley mentioned that he's considering closing when his lease is up in a year and a half, Tahmincioglu had a small epiphany: "Suddenly I'm overwhelmed with the thought that we all should have done more. Why didn't I just head over to Ninth Street to pick up the books I needed instead of first driving to a huge parking lot and walking into a huge chain?"
Book restorer Karen Tolley, owner of Lost & Bound Books, Roseburg, Ore., "has been stitching together spines and tightening the hinges of children’s classics and the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John for more than a year now," according to the News-Review.
"It’s a reviving art," said Tolley, a former bookseller who opened While Away Books in 1994 and sold it in 2003. Her new venture is located nearby. "I knew exactly where I wanted it to be," she said. "I felt like I had left all of my friends."
Tolley can repair about 10 books a week, depending upon condition: "Each book kind of tells you what it needs. . . . It’s fun to bring life back to a book again. It’s magic what can be done."
Barnes & Noble has launched a new how-to website, Quamut.com, which offers guides "commissioned by Quamut editors, written by experts, fact-checked, copy edited, enhanced with illustrations and photographs, and produced in an easy-to-read format for free viewing online," according to the company. The website currently features titles covering more than 1,000 topics and plans to add hundreds of new titles each month.
Dan Weiss, publisher and managing director of Quamut.com, said, "We simultaneously publish everything in two formats, to the web as both HTML content and as downloadable PDFs. And in some cases, we actually publish in three formats, adding a four-to-six page laminated printed chart available at Barnes & Noble stores and Barnes & Noble.com."
According to B&N, the business will be supported by advertising through display ads and Google AdSense, the sale of full-color PDFs and the sale of laminated printed charts.
Slate featured a recession reading list for "connoisseurs of financial folly, commercial irrationality, and general fiscal inanity" so you can keep pace with the "best books, articles, and Web sites about the economic collapse."
Effective May 5, Andrea Sheehan will join the Random House Publishing Group as v-p, director, digital strategy and business development. She was formerly v-p, director, online sales and merchandising at Simon & Schuster and earlier was director of trade sales for online at John Wiley & Sons and publisher relations manager at Barnes&Noble.com. She began her publishing career in 1995 at Crown, in the publicity and marketing departments.