Notes: Biblioburro, a Kick-Ass Mobile Library
The New York Times profiled Luis Soriano, the Colombian teacher whose weekend mobile library, Biblioburro, consists of Soriano, two donkeys named "Alfa" and "Beto" and about 4,800 books (many stored at his home). Soriano commented: "This began as a necessity; then it became an obligation; and after that a custom. Now it is an institution."
"Our main machinery is our hands. Technology can't do what we do,"
74-year-old John Mankin, co-owner of Western Bookbinding Co., San
Diego, Calif., told the Union-Tribune.
As book doctors, John and his wife, Ardis, repair thousands of tomes each year "as varied as torn children's books and generations-old Bibles that are so ragged, they're basically a mess of pages. They also bind new books as well as college dissertations, legal documents and family histories, among other requests."
"It's an art," John said. "I don't think you can come in and learn it tomorrow."
For a preview of and the ability to comment on the redesign of Powells.com, click here. The bookseller is sharing its new design on Facebook and its "old" website.
Responding to our "best books that never existed" assignment (Shelf Awareness, October 16, 2008), reader Kim Pettit suggested Tom Riddle's diary, from the Harry Potter series, while Russ Harvey, formerly of Cody's Books, wrote, "Oh, the number of times I had to explain this! The Princess Bride is a novel by William Goldman. There is no S. Morgenstern. You can't read the full version because it doesn't exist. No, really . . ."
Peter Glassman of Books of Wonder children's bookstore, New York, N.Y., agreed: "The Princess Bride by S. Morgenstern is the most sought after book that never was but is in literature that we've had requested over the years. You have no idea how difficult it is to convince people that it doesn't really exist! (In the category of titles and authors confused, the winner would be A Giraffe and a Half by Dr. Seuss--people will argue with us that they don't want the Shel Silverstein title, but rather the one by Dr. Seuss, even after we've explained that Dr. Seuss never wrote such a book!)."
Glassman's list of books that never also included The Red Book of Westmarch by Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee (from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien), Inkheart by Fenoglio (from Inkheart by Cornelia Funke), The Book of Three (from Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Cycle) and Imaginarium Geographica (from Here There Be Dragons by James A. Owens).
And Glassman wondered about "books that one assumes aren't real, only to discover they are! In second grade, I fell in love with reading when I discovered Half Magic and the six other magic adventure books by Edward Eager. In each, the children in the book profess their love of books by the author E. Nesbit. I just assumed at the time that Eager had made her up. I was overwhelmed with joy and excitement when in fifth grade I discovered she was real when I came upon a copy of Five Children and It in my public library. And Eager (through the opinions of his characters) was right--she was, and is, a great writer!"
What began in the early 1990s as "a mission to find all the horror things we could and put them in one spot" became the genesis of Dark Delicacies Bookstore, Burbank, Calif., according to owner Del Howison, who was interviewed by Blogcritics Magazine.
Asked to compare horror books produced by the large publishers versus small presses, Howison said, "Good writing is good writing. Just because something has money behind it and is popular doesn't make it bad any more than some book from a small artsy press makes it worth reading. Horror thrives by all of these places producing--and the cream rising to the top."
The Rome, Ga., News-Tribune profiled Dogwood Books & Antiques and the shop's owner, Kenneth Studdard, who said, "I love books. I love the smell of a bookstore. . . . I look forward to coming to work every day. It's very peaceful."
Effective January 2, PGW will distribute Kalmbach Publishing Co., Waukesha, Wis., which publishes do-it-yourself bead and craft books, including jewelry-making, paper-craft and needle-art titles. In addition to the 35 books Kalmbach publishes annually, it has more than 200 backlist books, publishes 15 hobby magazines, including Art Jewelry, Bead&Button and BeadStyle, offers a variety of special-interest publications and hosts nearly 30 Web sites. It also puts on events and has TV partnerships.
In a statement, Linda Franzblau, Kalmbach's books marketing and trade sales manager, said, "Because PGW's core business is distributing books to the trade, we're confident they'll offer us new ideas and introduce us to opportunities that will help grow our bead and craft book line."
PGW has signed the following publishers, too:
- Owlkids, a Toronto children's book publisher.
- The Urantia Foundation, publisher of the bestselling Urantia Book.
- Augustus Publishing, an urban fiction publisher best known for its Ghetto Girls series.
- Already Done, which publishes cookbooks by Lucy "Lulu" Buffett, owner of LuLu's at Homeport Marina in Alabama and sister of Jimmy Buffett.