Book Stores

The Black Section at WalMart; Segregating Titles by Subjects' Skin Color

Bob Dyer, Akron Beacon Journal columnist writes: At many area Walmarts, the book section is extremely well-organized. The self-help books are here . . . the religion section is there . . . cooking and diet books farther down . . . and right over here is the black section.

You think I'm kidding? At Walmart, apparently, skin color trumps all.

The ''black section'' contains everything written by and about blacks: romance novels, self-help books, religion, sports, even an autobiography by the current president of the United States.

Now, whether or not you're a fan of Barack Obama, can't we at least agree that the thing that defines him is not his skin color but his job title? We have lots and lots of African-Americans in this country — about 38 million, according to the U.S. Census Bureau — but during this country's entire 234-year history we have had only 44 presidents.

Yet there he is, right in the middle of six monochromatic shelves, peering out at us from the cover of The Audacity of Hope.

The reporter of this piece in the asked WalMart to respond to book placement. When asked why many of its stores have a ''black section'' that lumps together everyone from romance novelists to preachers to the president of the United States — even though they have little in common beside skin color — WalMart Stores Inc. responded without really responding.


At Bookstore, Even Non-Buyers Regret Its End

On Monday afternoon, Jai Cha walked out of the Barnes & Noble at 66th Street and Broadway in Manhattan as he does nearly every week — without a book.

“I’m just killing time,” said Mr. Cha, a 30-year-old lawyer, his hands stuffed deep in his pockets. “I’ve been coming here to read Bill Simmons’s ‘Book of Basketball,’ about a chapter at a time.”

He might have to hurry. Barnes & Noble announced on Monday that at the end of January it would close the store, a four-story space across the street from Lincoln Center that has been a neighborhood landmark since it opened nearly 15 years ago.

Full story in the NYT


San Jose Lesbians and feminists mourn loss of Sisterspirit

San Jose Lesbian and feminists mourn loss of Sisterspirit

Bookstore beloved of Lesbian and feminists to close. Online bookstores and the acceptance of Gay literature in chain bookstores are blamed.

(Sorry to censor, but this site's spam filter wouldn't accept this submission otherwise.)


Bookstore Arrives, and Sides Are Taken

New York Times: WESTHAMPTON BEACH, N.Y. — Ever since Books & Books opened its doors on Main Street here last month, it has missed out on some of the adulation usually reserved for new independent bookstores in the age of Amazon.

Several storeowners nearby have ordered their staffs not to shop there. Indignant older women have marched inside the bookstore to yell at employees. And someone, or perhaps several someones, may have sneakily placed used chewing gum between the pages of new books.

The animosity seems to have stemmed from the fact that Books & Books moved in when there was already an independent bookstore, the Open Book, around the corner. And as some people saw it, there was no room for another one.

Full article


Bookstores: Oblivion or Survival?

"Saying that bookstores won't be around in the future because Wal-Mart and Amazon sell books is like saying Italian restaurants will go out of business because we have canned spaghetti sauce."--Michael Norris, a senior analyst at Simba Information, in a Houston Chronicle piece headlined "Booksellers buck e-trend: Analysts say there's a place for stores that do their job well."

Quick Change in Strategy for a Bookseller

The strong growth of electronic books has altered the way consumers browse and buy books, forcing big bookstore chains to find new ways to attract shoppers.

Full article in the NYT

Where do we lose the shelf space and how much do we lose?

Blog entry by publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin

There are two questions about the impact of digital change on publishing that are just about impossible to answer.

One is: how much of the sale of ebooks is incremental business and how much of it is cannibalization of prior print sales?

The other is: what will be the fate of independent bookstores?

The two are connected.

Full blog post here.


A Look at Who May Bid for Barnes & Noble

Now that Barnes & Noble has officially put itself up for sale, it’s time to ask: who may place a bid for America’s biggest brick-and-mortar bookseller?

Story in the NYT


Barnes & Noble Planning Big Push to Increase Nook Sales

In-house boutiques are Barnes & Noble’s latest front in the battle with Amazon over their competing e-reader devices.

Full story:

Bookmobile Gets Second Life as a Bookstore

Lafayette Bookstore in CA has had to close its bricks-and-mortar store, but will keep on trucking as the Bay Area Bookmobile.

"Big Blue" is a bookmobile that was decommissioned from the Ypsilanti (MI) District Library and was acquired and driven to the Bay Area during the week of June 20. The store is having a Saying Goodbye to the Brick-and-Mortar Party Thursday evening that will include "a ritual marking our move from the old to the new--we're doing a bucket brigade to move all the books from the new section of the bookstore into the bookmobile."

The store will have Lafayette Book Store and Bay Area Bookmobile Facebook pages and continue sending out the newsletter. As owner Dave Simpson wrote: "We'll be active there with a schedule of appearances, announcements of author signings and events, and as always, our book recommendations (and you can offer your own!). Come join the conversation!"


Subscribe to Book Stores