Notes: Bullish About Books; 'Reader in Chief'
Charles Kaine, owner of the Reader's Cove, was one of several Fort Collins, Colo., retailers who told the Coloradoan
that they "remain upbeat about the upcoming holidays despite national
projections that sales will grow at their slowest rate in six years as
consumers worry about their jobs, housing, the stock market and high
gas and food prices."
"Books are really good investments for the holidays and can be less expensive than other things, like electronics," said Kaine, who projects 5%-7% growth in the fourth quarter. "But, it's not going to be pretty. People are going to be more reserved in purchasing this year, and I think we will see a lot less purchasing on the Internet."
Sherlock's Tomes, Bridgeton, N.J., has a reservation on October 7 at S.R. Riley's Musical Cafe, but it's for more than a meal. The two-year-old bookstore that specializes in mysteries, children's books, classics and bestsellers is moving into a 500-sq.-ft. space in the Beatles-themed cafe, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
"We're hoping this will be the kick that's needed for S.R. Riley's and for Sherlock's," Linda Durkin Richardson, co-owner of Sherlock's Tomes, told the paper. "And we won't have to walk so far for lunch."
Richardson and Jim Chiappardi had been looking for a new site for the store since the building in which it operates was sold in June and had wanted more space anyway--in part to host more book clubs and perhaps a writers' group.
The bookstore and cafe have partnered already on several events, including appearances and book signings by May Pang, a girlfriend of the late John Lennon, and Larry Kane, who chronicled the Beatles' 1964 North American tour.
First Lady Laura Bush, dubbed by Librarian of Congress James Billington the "reader in chief," will host the National Book Festival in Washington, D.C., this weekend. The event has "grown from about 30,000 attendees in 2001 to more than 120,000 last year," according to the Associated Press.
"I love the whole idea of the National Mall being turned over to literature for a Saturday a year," Bush said. "It still has that feeling of a lot of book lovers together, people who love to read and who love books and who are very happy."
The Library of Google? Jorge Luis Borges' story, "The Library of Babel," should perhaps be invoked every time the quantum growth of the digital book world is mentioned. And even though Alberto Manguel wasn't talking digital in his New York Sun article, there was something eerily apt in his description of the Borges story as "nothing less than an attempt to describe the chaotic order and meaning of the universe, building on the ancient notion of the world as a book (or a book itself divided into an almost infinite number of books) in which we ourselves are written, and which we also attempt to read."
Two days ago, a shipment of more than 5,700 books donated by Harvard University Press, the MIT Press and Yale University Press left their shared TriLiteral warehouse, Cumberland, R.I., bound for Iraq. The Sabre Foundation, using a grant from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, will arrange the logistics of delivering the books to the Iraq National Library and Archive as well as the libraries of Baghdad University, Mustansiriyah University and Baghdad Technical University.
Iraqi librarians were allowed to choose up to three copies of each title and picked from a range of subjects, including philosophy, law, history, art and environmental studies. The shipment includes textbooks, new titles and classic monographs.
In a statement, William P. Sisler, director of Harvard University Press, said the press was delighted "to help restore in some small way the intellectual capital that has been destroyed in this tragic war."
Cool Idea of the Day: In connection with a talk by Noah Andre Trudeau, author of Southern Storm: Sherman's March to the Sea (Harper), Scott Meyer, owner of Merritt Bookstore, Millbrook, N.Y., arranged for a visit by reenactors from the 150th New York State Volunteer Infantry Regiment and the Hudson Valley Ladies Aid Society who wore Civil War-period clothing and answered questions from the audience. Read the Millbrook Round Table's history of the evening here.
Uncool Idea of the Day: Musical rights to American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis's 1991 novel about an investment banker-serial killer have been sold, Variety (via the New York Times) reported.
Promotions in the HarperCollins Speakers Bureau:
- Jamie Brickhouse has been promoted to v-p, director. Under her leadership, the Bureau has grown by 15%, signed on an additional 75 authors and begun to include media spokesperson deals.
- Julie Elmuccio has been promoted to assistant manager. She has been with the Speakers Bureau since its creation three years ago and will continue to book top speakers as well as assist in new marketing initiatives while co-managing the department.
- Blair Bryant Nichols has been promoted to coordinator. In the past year, she has worked as a speaker booker and handles speaking campaigns for some authors.
Debbie Burleson has rejoined Baker & Taylor as retail territory manager, serving, along with Charles Greiner, booksellers in the South. She was most recently an account executive at Ingram Digital Group, where she sold e-books and electronic content to the higher academic market. Earlier she was a marketing brand manager at B&T, where she managed independent studios and placed independent product into the retail, CDF and library markets. She may be reached at Debbie.Burleson@btol.com or 800-775-7930, ext. 3168.