Edward Stephen Koster, owner of David's Books, Ann Arbor, Mich., pleaded no contest to felony charges of buying and reselling stolen textbooks.
The Ann Arbor News reported Koster "was accused of hiring drug addicts to steal textbooks from competitors that he later sold. Under a plea agreement with prosecutors, Koster pleaded no contest to receiving and concealing stolen property shortly before opening arguments were to begin at his trial in Washtenaw Circuit Court, court officials said. He also pleaded no contest to an added count of conspiracy involving less than $20,000, and prosecutors agreed to drop one count of conspiracy exceeding $20,000 at sentencing Sept. 24."
The shoplifters, charged as co-defendants, "are expected to testify about 'shopping lists' Koster gave them, officials said. Court records allege Koster bought the books for $20 each and that the scheme helped feed their heroin habits for about six months."
John Blake Publishing has delayed publication of On Her Majesty's Service by Ron Evans after Salman Rushdie threatened legal action over the memoir by a former Special Branch officer who had served on a special detail protecting Rushdie.
According to the Guardian, Evans "claimed that the security guards protecting Rushdie during the fatwa against him 'got so fed up with his attitude that they locked him in a cupboard under the stairs and all went to the local pub for a pint or two.' Evans also claimed that the guards nicknamed Rushdie Scruffy, which Rushdie said was untrue."
The publishers' managing director, John Blake, said, "If anyone should be defending freedom of speech it should be him . . . I can't believe that he'd really want to ban a book because it says that detectives named him Scruffy--in a way that's almost affectionate."
Rushdie told the Guardian he is "not trying to prevent him from publishing his stupid book but if they publish it as it is there will be consequences and there will be a libel action."
Obama bestseller backlash? The Associated Press (via USA Today) observed that going negative against Barack Obama is now "a good formula for selling books. Three anti-Obama releases were in the top 20 of Amazon.com's best-seller list on Tuesday, despite little critical attention or mainstream media coverage. . . . Until recently, the most widely read narrative of Obama's life was written by Obama, in the million-selling Dreams From My Father and The Audacity of Hope. The new releases, like McCain's campaign ads, attempt a counter-narrative."
Books by Sebastian Faulks are the most popular summer reading list picks by British critics this year. The Guardian reported that, "among more than 600 reading recommendations from books pages, Faulks was the summer's most recommended author overall, chosen seven times in total for his new James Bond novel Devil May Care and his older titles Birdsong and Engleby."
Approximately 150 medieval and Renaissance books that were once in the possession of English monarchs will be placed on public display for the first time at London's British Library in 2011, according to BBC News. The exhibition will be culled from "almost 2,000 manuscripts donated to the British Museum by King George II in 1757."
The Truth About Hunting in Today's Africa, and How To Go on Safari for $690.00 (1963) is just one of Slate's "10 oddest travel guides ever published."
Effective next Monday, Jeff Leonard will join Baker & Taylor as executive v-p and chief financial officer. He was formerly v-p, finance, and treasurer of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Before that, he worked for seven years at Hughes Supply, the construction supplies distributor, most recently as v-p of operations, finance. He has also worked at Planet Hollywood and PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Thomas I. Morgan, who was named chairman and CEO of B&T last month (Shelf Awareness, July 7, 2008), was president and CEO of Hughes Supply.
In October 2009, Barnes & Noble plans to open a store in San Antonio, Tex., in the Alon Town Centre at 11503 Northwest Military Parkway.