An understanding of the marketplace and its customers has been an important part of the success of Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, Ill., according to the Naperville Sun. Co-owner Becky Anderson said the key to the shop's longevity is to "remind customers we're so linked and involved with our community. Our employees are like family, and the way we treat our customers is like family."
"We've been here so long, and we care so much," she continued. "I think we're always looking for ways to connect and for people to know who we are. It's always a challenge to get new customers to know what we do."
Anderson also noted the bookstore's commitment to ABA's IndieBound program. "The economic impact of a locally owned community business is so much bigger than any chain or box store can do," she said. "It's a totally unique experience that you can't get anywhere else. But we can't rest on our laurels. We have to keep working at it."
Former bookseller Todd Morehead recalled his "top five celebrity moments" at the Happy Bookseller, Columbia, S.C., which is scheduled to close this month. In a heartfelt tribute in the City Paper, Morehead wrote: "On a community level, we suffer the loss of yet another irreplaceable local business. But, the real blow comes to Columbia's literary landscape. From academia to beach read betties, all of us, even down to the little kids who loved to come get lost in the oversized children's section on the weekends, have all been affected by the news of the store's closing.
"The closing is particularly sad for the booksellers, both past and present. The Happy Bookseller was this writer's meal ticket throughout college and kept my light bill paid during the formative early years of this newspaper. But, it was always way more than a paycheck to me. Some days it was family, a kinship with book folk on both sides of the counter."
Regional impact from the recently announced December closing of the GM sport utility vehicle factory in Janesville, Wis., "still is being gauged in the Stateline Area as business and government officials wait to see what will happen next," the Beloit Daily News reported. Among the businesses contacted for the piece was Turtle Creek Bookstore, Beloit, where manager Peter Fronk observed that it is too soon to gauge what might happen to the local economy.
"You just never know," Fronk said, adding "the store has been attracting even more customers. Some say they would rather spend their money on a book that will keep them entertained for awhile, as opposed to a one-night movie ticket. You can enjoy it for days, as opposed to just a couple of hours."
In case of fire, read these. L.A. Observed reported that "Mark Hull, publisher of Red Hen Press, got the word to get out of his Granada Hills home office as the Sesnon Fire bore down. Which books did he choose to save for himself and his wife, Red Hen editor and founder Kate Gale?"
Celeste Fremon asked and posted the answer at Witness L.A.
"He was packing Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar for Kate, which she has read, of course, but want to reread. (I told him that I wasn't sure it made for the cheeriest evacuation reading.) For himself, he packed Heat Wave by Jill Marie Landis. (A cheeky choice, he acknowledged, but also a good book.) He was also packing Philip Roth's Goodbye Columbus for both of them."
Book Aid International is holding an online book auction on eBay "to raise money for literacy development in sub-Saharan Africa," according to the Guardian, which added that the charity effort "runs until October 27 [and] features books that have inspired many leading figures in the worlds of literature, art, politics and entertainment. Each has been asked to inscribe the book that has most inspired them with a few words about why that book is important to them."
The list of participating celebrities includes Helen Mirren, who chose Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky, Ian McKellen, Robbie Coltrane, David Cameron and Twiggy.
"Have books become the new target for internet piracy?" asked Rhodri Marsden in the Independent, noting that a "recent study by the Swedish book publishers association discovered that 85 per cent of Swedish best-sellers are currently available on torrent site The Pirate Bay, and publishers and authors have reacted to this news with the same panic-stricken gasps that we've been accustomed to hearing from music business executives."
Oh, Oh Dept.: "Deciding what to click on next when searching the Internet may help stimulate the brain of middle-aged and older adults beyond the benefits of reading alone, researchers have found," according to CBC News.
More about the Great Expectations: A Reading Marathon, which was held this past weekend at some 10 independent bookstores across the country (Shelf Awareness, October 14, 2008).
Jenn Northington, events and marketing manager at the King's English, Salt Lake City, Utah, wrote: "We did a shortened Red Wagon Read-a-thon this past Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. and had a blast. There were about 10 readers on and off throughout the event, ranging from one first-grader to a mom and her fifth-grader reading together. It was a hugely successful fundraiser; we raised $650 in books and monetary donations for the Book Wagon, a local charity that provides books to children at nine low-income housing projects in Salt Lake County. And, we continue to get calls about book donations! Interestingly enough, all the readers were female. The girls especially enjoyed the yoga breaks and trivia games (book-based questions provided on the spot by King's English booksellers), and all went home with prizes for everything from Most Trivia Questions Answered, to Most Money Raised, to Most Pages Read, to Most Time Spent Reading.
"We'll probably have to do another one come spring, since the parents all were asking when the next would be!"
Effective November 1, Ponent Mon, publisher of the Fanfare and Ponent Mon imprints, is will be distributed by Midpoint Trade Books. The publisher has been distributed by Atlas Books.
Ponent Mon and Fanfare publish sophisticated graphic novels such Nananan Kiriko's and Eisner Aware Nominee Jiro Taniguchi's new book, The Quest for the Missing Girl, which appears here December 4.