Book Stores

Obama picks up books for his girls at Iowa City's Prairie Lights

After delivering a speech on health-care Thursday at the University of Iowa, President Obama made a surprise stop a small bookstore in Iowa City, where he bought books for his daughters and his press secretary -- and lamented that he can no longer browse for reading material as he once did when he was a little-known candidate.

"Well, this used to be my favorite place," Obama told the owner of Prairie Lights, an independent downtown bookstore, as she showed him around. He had mentioned the shop in his speech, noting that it has been offering health-insurance benefits to full-time employees for the last 20 years, only to see premiums shoot up 35 percent last year, making it harder to afford the same coverage.

Full story in the Washington Post and...here's the raw video via youTube:

Barnes & Noble Looks to Digital Future, Replaces a Riggio

Determined to stake out a strong digital future, Barnes & Noble on Thursday named William Lynch, president of the company’s Web division, as chief executive, succeeding Stephen Riggio, who will remain as vice chairman. The company was founded by Riggio's brother, Len Riggio (a native Brooklynite) in 1971.

William Lynch, who introduced the company’s electronic book reader in October, had been president of the company’s Web division. He has no previous experience in the book business.

In the unexpected move, Mr. Lynch, 39, was named to the top spot a little over a year after arriving at the company. He is also the first person outside of the Riggio family to be named chief executive since Leonard Riggio, the company’s chairman, bought the company in 1971. He appointed his younger brother, Stephen, 55, in 2002.

Looks like the Nook v. Kindle battle is heating up. Story by Motoko Rich from The New York Times.

2010 Buffalo Small Press Book Fair

If you happen to be in the WNY or Southern Ontario area (like me!) don't miss the 2010 Buffalo Small Press Book Fair Saturday March 27th. The Buffalo Small Press Book Fair is a regional one day event that brings booksellers, authors, bookmakers, zinesters, small presses, artists, poets, and other cultural workers (and enthusiasts) together in a venue where they can share ideas, showcase their art, and peddle their wares. There's a Kickstarter fundraising page to help defray the costs.

The event is being held in the Karpeles Manuscript Library. The Karpeles Library is the world's largest private holding of important original manuscripts & documents. The archives include Literature, Science, Religion, History and Art. Among the treasures are .... "The original draft of the Bill of Rights of the United States", The original manuscript of " The Wedding March", Einstein's description of his " Theory of Relativity", The " Thanksgiving Proclamation" signed by George Washington, Roget's " Thesaurus", Webster's " Dictionary" and over one million more.

Most beautiful bookstore

Most beautiful bookstore
BoingBoing points the way to Bueno Aires's Librería El Ateneo Grand Splendid used to be a beautiful movie palace. Saved from the wrecker's ball, it is now one of the most majestic bookstores I've ever clapped eyes upon, a veritable temple to books.

American Booksellers Association's New E-Fairness Action Kit Launches

Do you think Amazon.com and other internet-only businesses have a right to sell product without collecting sales tax when brick & mortar businesses have been collecting and sending in taxes for years?

If so...skip to the next story...or add your comment below.

E-FACT provides independent businesses and booksellers in particular in the 42 states that collect sales tax but do not have e-fairness legislation state-specific templates to their state legislators and Governor calling for e-fairness. Businesses can simply go to E-FACT and navigate to their state, where they will find the relevant documents that can be adapted and then e-mailed to the appropriate person. We plan for E-FACT to grow over the next few weeks to include op-ed pieces, FAQs, relevant articles, and practical suggestions for advocating on behalf of e-fairness.

What Are Independent Bookstores Really Good For? Not much.

Excerpt from article at Slate.com

Our attachment to independent bookshops is, in part, affectation—a self-conscious desire to belong a particular community (or to seem to). Patronizing indies helps us think we are more literary or more offbeat than is often the case. There are similar phenomena in the world of indie music fans ("Top 40 has to be bad") and indie cinema, which rebels against stars and big-budget special effects. In each case the indie label is a deliberate marketing ploy to segregate, often artificially, one part of the market from the rest. But when it comes to providing simple access to the products you want, the superstores often do a better job of it than the small stores do: Borders and Barnes & Noble negotiate bigger discounts from publishers and have superior computer-driven inventory systems. The superstores' scale allows them to carry many more titles, usually several times more, than do most of the independents; so if you're looking for Arabic poetry you have a better chance of finding it at Barnes & Noble than at your local community bookstore.

Later in the article is this: Spend more time in public libraries, which offer many of the best features of indie bookshops, including informed staff, diversity, and offbeat titles. Of course, public libraries aren't exactly atmospherically "cool." The clientele is often young children, women over 40, and retired men. I visit five public libraries on a regular basis, and each one makes me feel old. But they deliver the goods. -- Read More

Urban Think! in Orlando Now, but Soon to be Gone

Another indie (FL) bookstore is about to close...Urban Think! Kim, from the blog Bookstore People stopped by when visiting relatives and spoke with the owner whose news was not good news. From the blog:

While my nieces were destroying the children’s section (I love being the aunt and just watching them), I distracted Jim by asking how business was going. Not great. He mentioned how the locals would drop by, pick up a dog biscuit for their pooch, then recommend he carry a great book they loved and bought from Amazon. Ouch! I suggested he try the message I saw from the Capitola Book Cafe – just don’t buy ALL of your books from Amazon. Alas, even before I could post this review, the store announced it would be closing at the end of the month. Bookstore closings tend to trigger terrific sales, so stop by to say goodbye and purchase.

Baldwin's Book Barn - End of an era

Blog post at "Confessions of a Bookplate Junkie" about Baldwin's Book Barn being for sale.

Look at these great pictures on the Book Barn website:
A Walk Through the Barn

Secondhand Shops Supersize To Maximize Potential

Picture Caption: The Used Book Superstore in Nashua, N.H., occupies the space that once housed an electronics chain. The store has an inventory of 100,000 books that are organized on metal shelves.

Story:

Resale and thrift merchants around the country are growing by sticking to a simple business model: high volume, low cost of goods and cheap rent. The economic downturn created an opportunity these for-profit businesses to move into larger spaces once occupied by giant big-box stores.

Listen and read full story on NPR

Volunteers help move 150,000 books from condemned store

Volunteers help move 150,000 books from condemned store
A condemned building once full of books is now empty thanks to the helping hands of the community. Nearly 100 people helped Daughtry's Old Books on Front Street pack up Saturday.

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