Banned Word Week? The Guardian reported that after fielding three complaints about inappropriate language in Jacqueline Wilson's latest novel, My Sister Jodie, Random House Children's Books U.K. "will replace the offending word" when the book is reprinted.
My Sister Jodie
has sold 150,000 copies in the U.K. since its publication last March,
including 28,000 through Asda, the supermarket chain that "is now in
the process of withdrawing it from stores."
"The word 'twat'
was used in context," said a spokesperson for Random House. "It was
meant to be a nasty word on purpose, because this is a nasty character.
However, Jacqueline doesn't want to offend her readers or her readers'
parents, so when the book comes to be reprinted the word will be
replaced with twit."
"Berkeley Is Still a Great Bookstore Town," crowed the Daily Planet, noting that despite recent bookshop closures and ongoing retail challenges, "the East Bay still has much to offer those of us who prefer to buy from brick-and-mortar retailers: a whole constellation of bookstores, generalist and specialist, used and new, with something for just about everyone."
After an impressive list of area bookshops, the article concluded: "The temptation to buy books online can be hard to resist. But for some of us, those transactions will never replace the thrill of the book hunt: the experience of browsing the physical shelves full of physical books and discovering something we hadn't known we needed."
In an open letter in Bookselling This Week, American Booksellers Association president Gayle Shanks of Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, Ariz., addressed issues raised by Chelsea Green's publication of Obama's Challenge on an exclusive basis through Amazon for two weeks, issues that touch on "fair play, the free flow of information, and a vibrant marketplace of ideas," she wrote.
One conclusion: "Using existing technology and an extensive network of booksellers--again both indie and corporate--I am convinced that Chelsea Green could have achieved its sales goals, reaching readers and selling many copies of their timely book."
Some independent bookstores have moved their lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender titles "from off- to center-stage," BTW wrote.
Tattered Cover buyer Margaret Noteman summed up the age-old problem involving general and special-interest sections: "There is always that balance between finding the widest audience for the book, which may mean shelving a title in General Fiction or Biography, yet having titles available in the GLBT section," she said. "That may mean cross sectioning or moving a book to find the audience."
BTW followed up on the Great Books Seminar Program, a monthly program held at R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, Conn., and taught by Yale professors who focus on one book for each session. The series began in March--when it was announced, 100 people tried to sign up. The program is doing so well that the store will hold a four-part series this fall focusing on the work of Virginia Woolf.
David Rhodes, who co-founded Tsunami Books, Eugene, Ore., 14 years ago, plans to leave the business later this fall. The Register-Guard reported that "Rhodes and business partner Scott Landfield stressed that Tsunami Books--which they said is on solid footing after nearly going out of business three years ago--will not significantly change its operations with Rhodes' departure."
"We are leaving for (the island of) Kauai, to work and apprentice at an organic farm there," said Rhodes of his and his wife's immediate future. "Our plan is eventually to return to Oregon and set up our own organic farm. But we've deliberately not given ourselves a timeline, so we can take it as it comes."
The Register-Guard also noted that a co-owner/operator is being sought to buy Rhodes’ 20% share in the bookstore.
"We're looking for someone who could fit (Rhodes' role), or a couple people," said Landfield, who holds a 40% share. "Until that happens, we're really busy. It was really built for a couple worker-owners. But at the moment, I'm just planning on working a lot of hours."
John Blake Publishing, which had delayed publication of On Her Majesty's Service by Ron Evans with Douglas Thompson earlier this month after Salman Rushdie threatened legal action (Shelf Awareness, August 6, 2008), has agreed to publish a "revised version" of the book. According to the Guardian, Rushdie's lawyer said the authors "have admitted there were falsehoods in the manuscript and have made amendments accordingly."