Barnes & Noble has "quietly shuttered" Quamut,
the how-to site it launched back in 2008 that "was a mix of
professionally produced how-to guides and user-created wikis, the
latter of which are no longer available," according to CNET.
What "remains are the 1,685 guides which will
continue to be sold both at Barnes & Noble's online store as
digital downloads, and at brick-and-mortar stores as laminated paper
reference guides. . . . There's no word yet on whether the company will
continue to invest in the creation of more guides, or if its
user-generated how-to guides will once again be made available. For
now, the only way to access them is through a Web cache like Google."
Barnes & Noble is launching a new program that will publish a line
of out of print books in hardcover editions. Called the Barnes &
Noble Rediscovers series, the books are priced between $9.95 and $14.95
and initial titles include Darwin's Century by Loren Eiseley, The Pursuit of the Millennium by Norman Cohn, Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being by Ted Hughes and History in English Words by Owen Barfield.
Barnes & Noble Rediscovers series opens a new door for us and a new
window for writers and estates who have earned no income on their works
for years," said Marcus Leaver, president of Sterling Publishing,
B&N's publishing subsidiary. "We plan to expand the capabilities of
the program to include both eBook and print on demand options."
Cool idea of the day: BookPeople, Austin, Tex., is working with SafePlace to put together School Kits for children grades K-12. According to the bookshop's newsletter, "Certain times of the year can be more difficult for families who have left abusive homes to live violence-free lives. One such time is when children go back to school. Compounded by the violence they are experiencing with issues of homelessness or lack of resources, it can be exceedingly difficult for a parent to provide all the necessary school supplies for his or her children."
BookPeople invites anyone interested in helping to bring one or more of the items listed in the newsletter to the bookstore August 22 or 23. For every five items donated, BookPeople will donate one book to SafePlace.
Dan Danbom, a former Rocky Mountain News book reviewer who recently opened Printed Page Bookshop, Denver, Colo., told New West: "Now, instead of reviewing books, I've decided that a fast route to famine is to try to sell them."
about our books on paper" is the shop's motto. Danbom observed that he
and business partner Nancy Stevens will be "defiant and antiquated to
the very end!"
The Branson, Mo., Daily News profiled Calvin's Used Books, owner Heidi Sampson and the shop's eponymous feline, now 17 years old.
"Someone dropped him off in the parking lot and he made his way to my door," Sampson said. "I brought him in, fed him and tried to get rid of him, but after about two weeks, all anyone wanted to know was where the cat was." When the 19-year-old business, originally called Half Price Books of the Ozarks, incorporated in 2000, Sampson had to "come up with a name, and by that time, almost anyone who came through the door had two questions: 'Where’s Calvin?' and then 'I’m looking for this book.'"
Book trailer of the day: South of Broad by Pat Conroy.
The New York Times reported on the Brooklyn Public Library's approach to handling "books that offend," focusing on Hergé’s controversial 79-year-old Tintin au Congo, which "was moved in 2007 from the public area of the library to a back room where it is held under lock and key. The move came after a patron objected, as others have, to the way Africans are depicted in the book. "
Many libraries have policies allowing patrons to complain formally about books they find objectionable. The Times noted that "New York City libraries have received almost two dozen written objections since 2005. But the book about Tintin (pronounced Tantan in his native Brussels) was the only challenged item to have been removed from the shelves, library officials said. The objection was reviewed by a panel, in keeping with the library's policy. It determined the book no longer belonged on the open stacks, but rather should be tucked away in the Hunt Collection, which are kept in a vault-like room accessible only to staff members."
Write, revise, rewrite. The New York Times chronicled Elizabeth Gilbert's efforts to craft a followup to her bestselling memoir, Eat, Pray, Love.
"There's something very scary about having millions of people waiting to see what you're going to do next," she said. "The people who love Eat, Pray, Love are very dear and are very encouraging, but they also have their expectations."
The Times noted that Gilbert "has delivered a new book that Viking will publish in January. Titled Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage, the book is a memoir of a tumultuous year that came 18 months after Eat, Pray, Love leaves off, as well as a meditation on wedlock."
Alain de Botton has begun his brief term as Heathrow Airport's writer-in-residence. The Guardian reported that the "results of his week's stint at Terminal Five will be published by Profile Books next month, with BAA distributing 10,000 copies free to passengers."