Notes: Online Catalogue Conversation; Paperchase for Sale?
Spurred in part by HarperCollins's announcement that it will launch a beta version of an online catalogue in the next six to 12 months, the ABA's Booksellers Advisory Council will discuss publisher e-catalogues during its meeting at BEA, Bookselling This Week reported. Many booksellers support the environmental advantages of e-catalogues but want to be sure that the catalogues have features that make them as useful as possible. "We will address the issue, and glean bookseller feedback," ABA COO Oren Teicher said. ABA will then share bookseller "thoughts and concerns with interested publishers."
HarperCollins president of sales Josh Marwell told BTW that the online catalogue is a work in progress and that he wants feedback from booksellers. "I understand that it's important to booksellers that they're able to annotate the catalog electronically and make lists for future reference, as well as to forward information to other booksellers in the store. We'll have to understand how customers are using and processing information in the printed format to create a useful state-of-the-art tool online."
Bookselling This Week profiles Metropolis Books, which opened in late 2006 in downtown Los Angeles, Calif., as art of the Historic Downtown L.A. Retail Project, which has helped turn around the former Skid Row neighborhood. The owners are Julie Swayze and Steven Bowie, who are husband and wife.
The 900-sq.-ft. store stocks 4,500 titles, specializes in books about historic L.A. and architecture and has strong classics and bestseller sections. The store has several signings a month and participates in Downtown L.A.'s monthly Art Walk.
Without indicating the source of its information, the Daily Telegraph in London said that Borders Group has hired bankers to "consider options for its U.K. Paperchase chain, which could include sale," Bloomberg reported. Borders has sold all but a minority interest in its U.K. bookstores. Paperchase was not included in the original list of company assets to be offered for sale last year.
Paperchase has 114 stores and concessions and could sell for as much as 50 million pounds ($97.4 million), the paper added.
Happy birthday to Studs Terkel, who turns 96 today! He continues to go strong: this fall with the New Press he'll publish a new collection, P.S.: Further Thoughts from a Lifetime of Listening, and the paperback edition of his 2007 memoir, Touch & Go. In addition, he's soon releasing an educational DVD, Rocking the Boat: Studs Terkel's 20th Century, which looks at the social progress achieved during the last century and how it was achieved, as experienced by Terkel and nearly a dozen of his contemporaries. Check out the trailer here.
Bill Ackman/Pershing Square Capital Management Bookstore Stock Ownership Scorecard:
Barnes & Noble: $200.4 million
Borders Group: $62.1 million
Source: SEC 13-F filing, dollar value of shares owned.
P.S. Now we understand better the strategic value of the many purchases of B&N stock by chairman Len Riggio in the past year.
"I was at a bar with some booksellers, engaging in drunken bookseller gossip over expensive whiskies and cheap beer . . ."
You have to like that opening to a recent Constant Reader column in The Stranger, where Paul Constant reviewed a new Young Adult book by Cory Doctorow (in anticipation of upcoming readings by the author at Seattle's Elliott Bay Book Company and Ravenna Third Place Books) and reluctantly conceded that he might have been overdoing it with a prior statement--"I don't read young-adult fiction."--that got him in trouble.
All For Kids Books & Music, Seattle, Wash., is scheduled to close in late June, but the Post-Intelligencer asked, "What will happen to The Room?"
"Every surface inside the store's events and reading room--the door, the walls, the ceiling---has been transformed into a rich literary canvas. A Who's Who of children's authors and illustrators have dropped by and signed their names or drawn pictures or left behind pithy sayings encouraging young people to maintain a love of books--no small feat in this age of electronic doodads."
Owner Chauni Haslet admitted that "the future of these walls is unknown."