Notes: New Bookcase of Wayzata Owner; Angry Rowling
Charlie Leonard, an employee of the Bookcase of Wayzata, Wayzata, Minn., for 10 years, has bought the store from Peggy Burnet and Stephanie Ott, the mother-and-daughter owners since 1990.
In a letter to friends and customers, Burnet said, "Partnering with my daughter Stephanie for the past eighteen years has been a true and delightful gift. . . . We thank each of you for understanding that a community bookstore survives and thrives because its customers enjoy and appreciate the individual service that our knowledgeable and friendly staff provides."
Leonard, she wrote, "is passionate about reading and books. He has been a teacher in both the Wayzata and Hopkins schools, and is a lifelong resident of the Wayzata area. He is the founder and artistic director of Blue Water Theatre Company, a theatrical group for middle and high school students in Wayzata.
"Charlie is knowledgeable about every aspect of the book business, and he will bring new ideas and energy. The wonderful staff that you have known for years will remain and, along with Charlie, are very excited to continue serving you."
The third and final day of the trial regarding publication of an
unauthorized Harry Potter book reached its dramatic conclusion when
J.K. Rowling testified again and displayed "a flash of anger,"
according to today's New York Times.
Rowling said that if the judge allowed the Harry Potter Lexicon to be published, "I believe the floodgates will open. Are we the owners of our own work?''
The Times observed that "lawyers on both sides of the Lexicon case appeared to be resolved to continue the litigation, although they revealed they have settled some sections of the suit that were not central to the copyright infringement claim."
On his own blog, Thomas Nelson president and CEO Michael S. Hyatt explained the reasoning behind his announcement that the company will not attend BookExpo America and the International Christian Retail Show. "The current economic downturn" was the catalyst for the decision, which had been debated for the past decade, he said.
Instead of going to the shows and visiting customers there, Nelson will have the mountain come to Mohammed, as it were. Last weekend, the company held a two-day "Open House" in Nashville, Tenn., which its top 100 Christian retail accounts, who represent 80% of Nelson's business in this market, attended. "Our goal was to arm participants with a better understanding of industry trends and merchandising strategies, while inspiring their relationships with God," Hyatt wrote. From now on, Nelson will hold the event annually.
An author book signing at Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, Mich., last Saturday became a newsworthy event for the Herald Times, which reported that the bookstore "staff stopped counting after they reached 300 people" lining up to have their copies of Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope signed by Newell and Colleen Cerak.
"This has been such a big story for Gaylord all along," said owner Jill Miner of the local family who co-authored--with Don & Susie Van Ryn--the bestseller. "The Ceraks are such an amazing family--I think it was show of support for them." The Herald Times added that Saturn has "the only books that are signed by the Ceraks. . . . The local bookstore is approaching 900 copies of books sold."
The Inkwell Bookstore, Falmouth, Mass., celebrates its fourth anniversary in June. Co-owner Michelle Lemay told the Falmouth Bulletin that the "people in Falmouth understand the need to shop locally in order to maintain this wonderful Main Street. Falmouth is full of open-minded lovers of the written word. There's an enormous amount of readers and writers in the area. Some of the best books I've read have been customer recommendations, which I'll then go on to purchase for the store. When a customer comes in and is so excited and they want more, it just makes such a difference."
Twenty-eight years ago, Toni Forrend's accountant "predicted a dismal future" for her new business venture, the Yankee Paperback Exchange, Montpelier, Vt. "He said, 'I just want to let you know you're not going to make any money at this business--it's just in the numbers.' I was devastated," she told the Times Argus.
Although she made it her mission to prove him wrong--and did so for nearly three decades--Forrend now plans to close the bookshop in June: "It's sad when customers say, 'What am I going to do without you?' It's been fun. I've seen a lot of people come and go on this street."
The Cuyahoga Valley National Park Association will take over the former Blue Heron Bookstore, Peninsula, Ohio, according to the Beacon Journal. Reopening "in early summer, it will operate as Park Place in Peninsula and will combine books, merchandise and snacks to appeal to park visitors. . . . The new store will focus on local, environmental, nature, train, health and children's education books. It will also sell higher-end souvenirs, outdoor-oriented items and environmentally friendly goods."
Lee Gomes has discovered, much to his surprise, that he enjoys reading on his cell phone. In the Wall Street Journal, he wrote that the Sony Reader "turned out to be a gateway device. Once you've experienced its great rush of convenience, choice and portability, you just have to have more. It's then that you cross the line and start downloading British novels onto a BlackBerry. Actually, the logic of reading a book on a BlackBerry, or its kin, is pretty straightforward: You have the thing with you, so you might as well make the most of it."
Elsewhere on the digital front, the New York Times reported that Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and Sage Publications have sued Georgia State University, "contending that the school is violating copyright laws by providing course reading material to students in digital format without seeking permission from the publishers or paying licensing fees."
Pop star/lit prize update: Earlier this month (Shelf Awareness, April 8, 2008), we noted that British pop star Lily Allen, an unlikely choice for the Orange Prize judging panel, had withdrawn due to reported "ill-health." The Times, however, reported Orange Prize organizers have now "admitted that they had dropped her from their panel of judges after she failed to turn up to meetings."
Borders Group plans to open another of its new concept stores this June in Wareham, Mass., in the southeastern part of the state. The 25,401-sq.-ft. store will be located in the Wareham Crossing shopping area at Highway 28 and Interstate-495. Borders is opening 14 new concept stores this year.
In November, Books-A-Million plans to open its first store in northeastern Ohio in the Westgate retail development in Fairview Park and Rocky River, according to Crain's Cleveland Business. The 15,500-sq.-ft. store is in an open-air site that replaces Westgate Mall.
And last but not least, in October, Barnes & Noble plans to open a store in San Antonio, Tex., in the Shops at La Cantera at 15900 La Cantera Parkway.