Notes: B&T CFO to Leave; Summer Reading
James C. Melton, executive v-p and chief financial officer of Baker
& Taylor, is leaving the company but will stay on during a
transition period. He joined B&T in 2004 and was named CFO in 2006.
In a statement, Tom Morgan, who joined B&T as chairman and CEO earlier this month, said that Melton "has made many outstanding contributions at Baker & Taylor and we appreciate his dedication to the success of our company. He will be missed, and we wish him every success for his future."
BookStream will hold its second TitleWave event on Monday, August 4, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., at the Nassau Inn in Princeton, N.J. The event is free and open to all employees of independent bookstores and aims to help them become more knowledge about titles and handsell them better.
At TitleWave, BookStream staff will presents picks of the lists and authors will be on hand to meet booksellers. Featured writers will be David Ebershoff, author of The 19th Wife (Random House); Laurie Albanese and Laura Morowitz, authors of The Miracles of Prato (Morrow); and Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, authors of Baked (Stewart, Tabori & Chang), who will offer samples of their desserts. Signed copies of these books will be available.
The event will also include lunch and a forum for booksellers that will include a discussion of favorite titles and ideas that have succeeded in their stores.
For directions, information on carpooling and to RSVP, contact Carolyn Bennett at email@example.com or 866-416-1112 ext. 209.
Cool idea for a summer's day: On its website, Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, Mass., showcases "summer reading recommendations by great writers from our 2008 author event series." Featured authors include Charles Baxter, Junot Diaz, Jorie Graham. Margot Livesey, Richard Price and Adriean Tomine.
When the Chicago Tribune recently featured a suggestion box for readers to comment upon the paper's book coverage, more than a thousand people obliged, including many who "wanted Chicago's great literary tradition to continue in our pages, hoping to be enriched, challenged, surprised and engaged by the transformative power of the written word."
Among the respondents:
"At a time when many papers have dropped their book review sections, or cut them back to a page or less, the Tribune's Books section is more important than ever," wrote author Sara Paretsky. "Readers depend on book reviews to help them know what's being written. You can't browse in an online store--you're dependent on what the online purveyor is putting on its home page. Without a good book section, there are ever fewer ways for readers to learn about diverse voices in the book world. A good book section should help bring readers from all over the country to the paper."
From Roberta Rubin of the Book Stall at Chestnut Court, Winnetka, Ill.: "As an independent bookseller, I feel very strongly that the Books section in the Saturday Tribune is our lifeline to our public--to those who love to read and to those who love to just see what is happening in Chicago from week to week!
"I have fought for its survival for years--and I just can't imagine that it doesn't still have a place of importance in your paper. If it is eliminated, I fear that the Tribune will suffer more than we will--for its lack of vision and its support of the arts. Please consider its importance in the literary life of a great city."
And Susan Takacs of the Book Cellar, Chicago, wrote: "It is important to continue a section dedicated to books and the literary community. There needs to be a dedicated space for the Chicagoland area 'book types' to look to for reviews, suggestions, events and general literary updates.
"I love 'From the Precincts'; it shows the individuality of the readership in different neighborhoods. The reviews and 'Editor's Choice' are favorites as well. The events page is valuable. A Chicagoland best-seller list would be fun. If the Chicago Tribune does not support a dedicated book section, the New York publishers may begin to skip the Midwest for their book launches and author events."
The Night Bookmobile, a graphic novel by Audrey Niffenegger, is appearing in weekly segments at the Guardian's website.
Handselling by the number. Can you find "your perfect novel" just by turning to page 69? In the Guardian's book blog, Charlotte Stretch experimented with Marshall McLuhan's theory of choosing a book by reading that particular page: "If you like it, then chances are you'll like the rest of it too."