Notes: Downtown Tempe Shift; Men's Wrapping Dream
IndieBound in action?
The closing of the Borders Bookstore in downtown Tempe, Ariz. (Shelf Awareness, December 15, 2008) may offer an opportunity to revive independent retailing on Mill Avenue. According to the Arizona Republic,
"Tempeans realized the extinction of most of downtown's independent
businesses did not happen overnight. It took place in small, barely
noticeable steps until something once vibrant has disappeared.
"In the case of Mill Avenue, many were left scratching their heads, wondering where the soulful sounds of independent music and merchants of downtown Tempe went. . . . Locally-owned Changing Hands Bookstore and its eclectic mix of used and new books and monthly book clubs also moved off of Mill when the owner could no longer afford the skyrocketing rent that often comes with a shift to corporate business."
Vic Linoff, who owned Those Were the Days bookstore on Mill Avenue for 35 years before it closed in August, told the paper "he would like to see another independent bookstore take the Borders' space after it leaves in January."
Tempe mayor Hugh Hallman expressed optimism about the area's future: "I'm actually rather delighted that we're finally moving on away from the chain stores that got a hold of Mill Avenue. It was Borders that chased Changing Hands off of Mill."
For booksellers buried in giftwrapping hell, here's an alternative from Firebox.com, which offers its CrapWrap service to "husbands and boyfriends who don't want their wives and girlfriends to know that they bought their gifts online instead of taking the time to go out shopping in the real world," according to Boing Boing.
The blog Nothing to Do with Arbroath noted that "Kevin Smith, 29, is proud to be the worst wrapper at the company's London warehouse. He said: 'I am rubbish. We're not given any instructions. I'm just asked to make a hash of it using lots of brown tape and making sure there are rips and untidy folds.'"
"I don't like the phrase of coffee-table books," Michael Fox, owner of Joseph Fox Bookshop, Philadelphia, Pa., told the Inquirer. "We never use the word because I find it a bit demeaning. It suggests that their only purpose is to sit on a coffee table and look good."
But the Inquirer, in offering its recommendations, suggested that, "whatever you call them, bookstores are full of these big, glossy tomes during the holiday shopping season. The best of the best do more than just showcase pictures."
The Guardian showcased Jeff Vandermeer's 60 in 60 blog as its site of the week, doffing a literary hat to the fantasy author's quest "to read one of Penguin's Great Ideas titles a day, for sixty days" and post his reaction every day.
USA Today picked "8 books to help rekindle the Hanukkah spirit."
"Dog (and cat) lovers pant for these holiday books," and the Dallas Morning News was happy to help them out with a few recommendations.
Christopher Johns has been promoted to sales and marketing director at Tuttle Publishing. He joined the company in 2004 as specialty key accounts manager and marketing manager. Before that, he spent seven years at Harry N. Abrams, first as manager of special markets and then as director of special markets.
Effective immediately, Midpoint Trade Books is representing the Music Sales Group exclusively to independent booksellers in the Southeast and Midwest, airports and regional wholesalers. Music Sales Group owns many international catalogues and has grown over the years by acquiring various publishers, now available through the company's U.S. arm in North America, including Bosworth & Co., Chester Music, Novello & Company, Wilhelm Hansen and Unión Musical Ediciones (UME). The group also manages more than 200,000 music copyrights.
Under its Omnibus Press imprint, the Music Sales Group offers more than 3,000 titles covering all aspects of music instruction--for all instruments--and many titles include CDs and DVDs.
Founded in 1996 by Eric Kampmann, Gail Kump and Chris Bell, Midpoint Trade Books represents nearly 200 publishers from the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia.