Lori Peters, co-owner of Wild About Books, Clearlake, Calif., and executive director of the Clearlake Chamber of Commerce, made articulate arguments in the Lake County Record Bee for shopping locally. On the green angle, she wrote, "Locally owned businesses have a reduced environmental impact as well, because they can make more local purchases requiring less transportation, and generally set up shop in town centers as opposed to developing on fringes or outskirts. That means less sprawl, habitat loss and pollution."
In its profile of Town House Books & Café, St. Charles, Ill., the Courier News noted that the "charm of browsing for books in a 150-year-old structure appeals to many who say an independently owned bookstore is one of few timeless institutions left that offers a serene respite from an ever-changing, fast-paced world,"
Added owner David Hunt: "We're one of the few remaining independent booksellers around. We have a strong business, but certainly there are challenges in the market. With superstores and the Internet, you can get books everywhere now. But we have strong customer service . . . and a unique atmosphere."
Bostonist reported that McIntyre & Moore Booksellers, Cambridge, Mass., "whose wunderkammer of used books was recently exiled from Davis Square (and long ago displaced from Harvard Square)," has reopened in Porter Square. "They describe their stock as 'uncommon titles in interesting subject areas, usually in fields in which it's very hard to be gainfully employed . . ."
And the Boston Globe covered the story by asking, and then answering, a question: "So just how do you box up a bookstore? In five weeks and 1,000 cartons, with a closeout sale, good will, and back pain."
Jenny Cook, a longtime employee of the Book Shop, Sioux Falls, S.D., has purchased the business. The Argus Leader reported that the store will close April 30 and reopen May 7. The Book Shop "will continue to sell used books. It's looking for volunteers to scan and reorganize the inventory."
Harry Potter and the Big Apple--Rowling in court and Radcliffe on stage.
J.K. Rowling will be at the U.S. District Court in Manhattan this week to testify in a trial to determine if Steven Vander Ark's planned Harry Potter Lexicon violates her copyrights. According to the Associated Press, her lawyer "has arranged with the judge to have a private security guard for Rowling in the courtroom and for the author to spend breaks in the seclusion of a jury room--away from any die-hard Potter fans in attendance."
The New York Times reported that the Broadway production of Equus, featuring Daniel Radcliffe, star of the Harry Potter films, will begin performances September 5 at the Broadhurst Theater, with the official opening scheduled for September 25. The revival of Peter Shaffer's play drew a lot of attention during its successful London run due to the casting of Radcliffe in a role that includes a much-publicized nude scene.
Calling himself "the most published author in the history of the planet," Philip Parker has, as the New York Times put it, "generated" more than 200,000 books. Parker first attracted our attention last year (Shelf Awareness, December 10, 2007) when Business Week spotlighted this digitally prolific scribe.
His collected works "are not conventional books," according to the Times. Parker "has developed computer algorithms that collect publicly available information on a subject--broad or obscure--and, aided by his 60 to 70 computers and six or seven programmers, he turns the results into books in a range of genres, many of them in the range of 150 pages and printed only when a customer buys one."
The article also noted that Parker "is laying the groundwork for romance novels generated by new algorithms. 'I've already set it up,' he said. 'There are only so many body parts.'"
Arguing that "awards give retailers an excuse to pile bestsellers even higher," the Guardian followed up its report on the winners of the Galaxy British Book awards (Shelf Awareness, April 10, 2008) with a piece wondering "exactly what the awards are for. They clearly appeal to big booksellers, on and offline: almost all the prizes are sponsored by companies keen to sell you copies of the winners."
Effective May 1, Other Press trade titles will be distributed worldwide by Random House. Random House will also distribute Other Press professional titles everywhere except in the European Union. Eurospan UK remains the EU distributor for Other Press's professional titles.
W.W. Norton will continue to accept all Other Press returns purchased from Norton through October 31.