The Bi-College News, serving Haverford and Bryn Mawr colleges, profiles one of our favorite college booksellers, Julie Summerfield, who has managed the Haverford College Bookstore, Haverford, Pa., since 1982. "On first impression," the paper writes, "she is a spitfire who will tell it to you straight, with a few expletives mixed in if you’re lucky. [Editor's note: that is an accurate impression.] Summerfield is a Pennsylvanian for life, a lover of all things starch, and perhaps the coolest woman I have ever met."
And as we've seen recently in person, the store is indeed "a magical place, filled with novel after novel, textbook after textbook, Julie Summerfield, and her cat."
And the Portsmouth Herald News profiles Michele Filgate, events coordinator at RiverRun bookstore, Portsmouth, N.H. After working for CBS, most recently on the Evening News with Katie Couric, the paper wrote, a year and a half ago, "Filgate opted for personal authenticity over cultural norm" and the kind of work that is focused on local community, returning to New Hampshire and to RiverRun, where she had worked during college. She is also writing. She said she envisions owning a bookstore someday: "Maybe I'll be a partner in a bookstore AND be a published writer."
As expected, President-elect Obama is mentioning books. Under the headline, "For Books, Is Obama New Oprah?" today's New York Times notes that during his interview with 60 Minutes on Sunday, Obama said he had read "a new book out about FDR's first 100 days."
The comment aroused hope among authors and publishers of likely titles--and led apparently to increased sales of some Roosevelt tomes. Later Obama's staff said that he was actually referring to two books, both published in the past several years, The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope by Jonathan Alter (Simon & Schuster) and FDR by Jean Edward Smith (Random House).
Even though he didn't refer to them, two other titles about President Roosevelt got a nice bit of publicity: FDR: The First Hundred Days by Anthony J. Badger (Hill & Wang) and the forthcoming Nothing to Fear: FDR's Inner Circle and the Hundred Days That Created Modern America by Adam Cohen (Penguin Press).
The New England Independent Booksellers Association has awarded several more NEIBA Grants, which are intended "to help independent booksellers' efforts in their own communities to shift consumer awareness toward supporting locally owned businesses."
Pioneer Valley Local First, Northampton, Mass., received a grant of $2,500 to fund a project manager and graphic designer in order to produce a business directory for Pioneer Valley First. Bookstore members of the organization include Broadside Bookshop, Food for Thought Books and the Odyssey Bookshop.
Shop Sandwich First, on Cape Cod, Mass., also received a grant of $2,500, which will be used towards the design, distribution and marketing of the Shop Sandwich First booklet and help defray hotel room costs for one of its members, Vicky Uminowicz of Titcomb's BookShop, to attend the Winter Institute in January in Salt Lake City, Utah.
In an "uncertain economic climate, it's a good idea to cut back on non-essential entertainment expenses," advised Express Night Out,
offering the sage counsel that "one old-fashioned possibility to
consider is reading. It makes you smarter, it's a major time-killer and
it can be done on the cheap."
How cheap? Four D.C.
bookstores--Idle Time Books, Bartleby's Books, Books for America and
Second Story Books--were explored "to see what they had to offer for
$10 or less."
Another sign of tough economic times? The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette
examined the "Tricks of the trade-in" by profiling several bookshops in
the Indiana city regarding their used book buy-back policies.
customer just came in here and asked if we bought books," said Art
Tomsing, owner of Book Rack. "A lot of people are trying to get gas
money, to be honest."
In Russia, Moskva bookstore,
"which has survived censorship, the economic woes of the 1990s and the
fact that no more than two people can ever walk past its tightly packed
shelves at the same time," is celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Moscow Times reported.
a century ago, "books were a deficit product--customers were restricted
to buying one book when the shop opened--and there was a great thirst
for reading," the Times added.
"To subscribe to [an
author's] collected works, people would stand all night," said Marina
Kamenev, the director of the store. "We, the store's staff, could hold
the deficit books which we dreamed about in our hands, but we couldn't
even look at them, let alone buy them. Everything was very strict."
Charlie English, author of The Snow Tourist, picked his "top 10 books that include snow, or are about snow," for the Guardian.