In partnership with Lagardère Services Asia Pacific, which operates more than 100 stores through the Asia Pacific region, travel publisher Lonely Planet is opening a store at Sydney Airport in Australia next year, Bookseller & Publisher's Weekly Book Newsletter reported. The store will be "an information hub and a travel store as well as a bookstore," a spokesperson said, adding, "It's going to sell the full range of Lonely Planet books, plus a range of high-quality travel accessories--anything from laptop bags to notebooks, etc.--and it's also going to have what we're calling an interactive portal, which would be linked up to Lonely Planet's website and digital products."
Lagardere Services's CEO Scott Raisin indicated that the companies may open other Lonely Planet stores "in Australia and beyond."
In other news from Down Under courtesy of Weekly Book Newsletter, the Australian Publishers Association and the Australian Society of Authors have reaffirmed their support for Australia's current copyright law, which a government commission plans to review (Shelf Awareness, July 7, 2008). By contrast, the Australian Booksellers Association would like the law to be changed.
Janwillem van de Wetering, the Dutch writer best known for his series starring Amsterdam police officers Grijpstra and de Gier, died on July 4 in Surry, Me., where he had lived for some years and set several of his novels and his children's series about the porcupine Hugh Pine. He was 77.
Annie Randall, owner of the Village Booksmith, Baraboo, Wis., told the News Republic she feels "like I'm doing exactly what I should be doing." The store celebrated its 10th anniversary recently.
"The community has really responded to something most people don't think is going to fly in a small community," Randall said. "It's not just me being a crusader for the community. I benefit from it, too."
"Where we both love reading so much and we have kids that love reading, it just fit," Marilyn Haraden told the Duxbury, Mass., Clipper to explain the decision she and her husband Chris made in 2004 to buy Westwinds Bookshop.
"We really liked the hometown feel of it," she said. "This is exactly what we were looking for. Small, cozy, in a nice established town, with people who care about reading."
She cited customer interaction as her favorite part of bookselling: "It's the customer service that is our key for survival. We come in, we talk books, and customers get to know each one of our styles. It's not just a factory where you pick things up."
In caustic reaction to the announcement that Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth had won the Frank O'Connor award outright when the judges chose to dispense with a shortlist (Shelf Awareness, July 7, 2008), Nicholas Lezard wrote in the Guardian's book blog that he could think of "two main reasons" for having a shortlist:
- The first is that prizes like this exist not simply to reward individual writers but to raise consciousness, and therefore sales. . . . And why deny these other unfortunate, not-as-good-as-Jhumpa-Lahiri writers the chance to put 'shortlisted for the 2008 Frank O'Connor award' on the back of their next book?
- The second reason is that the judges have committed the unpardonable sin of failing to cater for that section of the literary public--and indeed the non-literary public--that likes a flutter. These prizes are only half about literature. They're half about gambling.
The reader responses following his piece are also worth a peek.
ABC television network has created a Lost Book Club
, "home to any and all literary references made on the show--from Stephen King to Kurt Vonnegut."