Notes: Family Bookstore in Chico; Charity Book Sale in N.Y.C.
"I wanted a family business, a place where the kids could come after school," Heather Lyon, owner of Lyon Books and Learning Center, Chico, Calif., told the Enterprise-Record in an interview celebrating the bookshop's fifth anniversary. "I found a book, What Should I Do with My Life? by Po Bronson. It is the stories of people who have made big changes in their lives. The message is that you can find what you love to do while producing a living for yourself. It inspired me to open the bookstore."
She added that Lyon Books is much more than a just a retail store for her: "Family business is the backbone of American culture. It's a tough economy right now and independent book selling is a troubled segment of the retail industry. I always hope that people will think of the small, locally-owned business. It's OK that Wal-Mart is here, but we don't want it to be the only choice."
A Salt Lake Tribune report on Utah's declining job market included a brief interview with Jim Rosinus, general manager of Sam Weller's Zion Bookstore.
"People are just being really careful with their money," he said, adding that while the bookshop traditionally hires some extra help for the holiday season, "I don't think we'll need to do any at all."
Sherlock's Tomes, Bridgeton, N.J., may close early next year. Owners Jim Chiappardi and Linda Durkin Richardson told the Press of Atlantic City that, despite moving into a new space earlier this fall (Shelf Awareness, September 25, 2008), they weren't able to generate sufficient sales to stay in business.
"We have put in as much money into this city as we could comfortably afford," Durkin Richardson said. "We appreciate the customers we've had that have been loyal, but we can't just keep floating the store. We're just realistic."
The event staff of Olsson's, the Washington, D.C., area bookseller that closed in September, has started an offsite book event company called Offsitebooks Inc. Led by Alicia Greene, former marketing director and events coordinator at Olsson's, and Terence K. McCann, former CFO, Offsitebooks plans, it said, to expand the book event business by selling books at a variety of venues, from major institutions and law firms to nonprofits and private parties. It also will pursue business-to-business sales.
"One of the more successful areas of Olsson's was their offsite events," Greene said in a statement. "Our mission is to continue with that great tradition and build new relationships. We believe there is unmet demand in the Washington, D.C., area and we are excited to use our experience and love of books in a new venture."
Offsitebooks has already run events for Kerry Kennedy and Newt Gingrich, among others, and is booking events for this season and into next year.
For more information, contact email@example.com or 202-321-8451; offsitebooks.com.
Macomb, Ill., is growing, according to the Western Courier--the student newspaper ofr Western illinois University--which singled out a number of new businesses in the town, including "options here that are unavailable in other places. The Square has a new bookstore (Copperfield's), a used book store (the Book Post) . . . And these merchants offer something big-city or corporate merchants cannot: interpersonal relationships with their customers."
Amazon.com has named Independent Publishers Group, Macmillan and Random House Publisher Services as Amazon Books Distributors of the Year. The three were cited for "their exemplary work in helping Amazon.com build a world-class customer experience through operational excellence on behalf of their client publishers."
In a statement, Russell Grandinetti, v-p of books for Amazon.com, commented, "By working together, we're able to improve the rate at which their books are in stock on Amazon, lower prices through lowering operational costs and help customers find, discover and buy great books through programs such as Search Inside the Book, Kindle and print-on-demand."
Representatives for the winners noted that working with Amazon had led them to become more efficient and improve operations. As Mark Suchomel, president of IPG, put it: "The exchange of ideas and excellent communication between Amazon and IPG, as well as the high standards Amazon sets for data quality and throughout the supply chain, has helped IPG become a better company overall."
The publishing industry does its part for a charitable cause this coming weekend in New York City. Many publishing folks, from execs to assistants, will man the tables at the annual Goddard-Riverside book sale, November 22 and 23. All proceeds go to the Goddard-Riverside community programs, which include homeless shelters, college scholarships, day care centers and much more. With city services being cut, Goddard's role on the West Side and in Harlem is more important than ever. Please come out to the book sale and get a jump on some holiday gift book buying for a good cause. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday at the Goddard Riverside Community Center at 593 Columbus Avenue at 88th Street.
The question of the day was asked by Molly Flatt at the Guardian Book Blog: "What were your favourite books before you could read?"