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The proprietor of a secondhand bookshop spawned a public row when he blamed his store’s demise on the opening of a store run by Oxfam nearby. “But it’s also that the English have a real sense of fair play, and this isn’t fair play, whether it’s for good causes or not.”
Mary Simun did not enjoy reading as a child. But in college, she discovered her love of reading, and hasn't stopped yet.
To make up for lost time, Simun spends her Friday afternoons volunteering at the Friends of the Redondo Beach Public Library store. Friends of the Library is a non-profit organization that supports libraries nationwide. The Redondo Beach chapter was established in 1985 to provide resources not covered in the city budget. Diane Chillington, the personnel coordinator of this chapter, said the Redondo Beach library has become slightly more dependent on the Friends since the economic downturn last year.
Does your library have FOL store? or a Friends group? Share news of how they've helped your library...
At a press conference in New York City this morning, Sony announced that it is cooperating with the American Booksellers Association, other retailers, and a variety of traditional and digital publishers to make available a universe of reading material in EPUB format compatible with Sony Readers. Among the sites offering EPUB content for sale to consumers will be more than 200 independent bookstores participating in the American Booksellers Association's IndieCommerce site.
Beginning this Labor Day, ABA member stores on IndieCommerce's new Drupal platform will have the ability to sell e-content in several formats, including the EPUB format protected by Adobe's Content Server 4 (ACS4) digital rights management. In addition, Sony said that plans are underway to make its Reader devices available for purchase from all independent bookstores in time for this holiday season.
And now he owns one of the few bookstores, independent or otherwise, in an inner-city Philadelphia neighborhood.
Hakim Hopkins, who grew up in West Philadelphia and Atlantic City, was 15 and in juvenile detention when his mother gave him a copy of Native Son. "That book just took me out," Hopkins, 37, remembers. "I didn't know that a book could be that good. I became a book lover, and a thinker." Today, Hopkins runs the Black & Nobel bookstore at Broad and Erie that in the year since it expanded to that spot has become a neighborhood hub. Hopkins says that although business is drying up for other independent bookstores, Black & Nobel's mix of services is adding to its bustle.
Story at Philly.com.
Novelist Moriah Jovan has come up with a plan for a bookstore without books.
From Media Bistro's Galley Cat, Ron Hogan writes:
"You want a book you can hold in your hands," Jovan fantasizes. "You go to Quaint Bookstore and they do not have what you want in their meager stock. NO PROBLEM! You sit down at one of the book stations. You browse the computer catalog (probably Ingram or Baker & Taylor). You pick your book. You punch in your credit card number (tied to the store's point-of-sale system). The order goes directly to one of the Espresso (print-on-demand) machines behind you. You wait 10 or 15 minutes (by which time you've probably already ordered another 3 books), and out pops your book. You are GOOD TO GO."
Jovan's dream store also allows customers to test drive e-book readers, and maybe even keeps a few old-timey books around on a second floor, for those booksellers who aren't ready to let go completely. So what do you think? Is this where bookstores are headed? Is it where they should be headed?
Is a library without books next?
Publishers Weekly reports on the recently purchased Crocodile Pie and other Chicago area bookstores closing.
Had enough of independent bookstores and other indie businesses closing? Want to save the remaining few? Tired of Amazon.com calling all the shots?
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From San Francisco's Green Apple Books Blog (video piece), Pete writes:
"People keep asking me, as an owner of an old-fashioned brick-and-mortar independent bookstore, what I think of the Amazon Kindle, one of the many “e-readers” available. So I bought one.
I admit, I was curious. The buzz is nearly screeching; and there must be a reason we don’t sell as many John Grisham novels as we did when I started 16 years ago; and who can resist the appeal of a new gadget dedicated to one of life’s necessary pleasures: reading.
Sure, I had heard some bad stories: there’s the class-action lawsuit against Amazon concerning screens that crack. And the recent brouhaha about Amazon silently removing 1984, Animal Farm, and other titles from Kindles (albeit for a good reason—they had sold pirated copies). And having seen Amazon founder Jeff Bezos laughing on Jon Stewart's Daily Show is enough to make anyone scared.
And while there are some thoughtful, balanced articles out there, like Nicholson Baker’s piece in the current New Yorker, I wanted to see for myself.
So Green Apple's crack video crew came at it with an open mind, pitting “The Book” against the Kindle in a smack-down of the most literary sort. We had plenty of help from some, um, "talented" folks, as you'll see."
From Channel Web: Plastic Logic, the maker of Barnes & Noble's new e-reader said that the book retailer has no intention of challenging Amazon's widely popular Kindle device. (and what if they were? ...can/should Amazon have a monopoly on e-readers?)
The new device will be aimed at an entirely different audience, said Daren Benzi, vice president of business development at Plastic Logic, in an interview with Fox Business News /Battle of the E-Readers.
"We're actually targeting a different type of customer, the business professional, while Amazon has been targeting the leisure book reading customers," Benzi said. Holding up a model of the Plastic Logic e-reader Barnes & Noble will be selling, Benzi pointed out that the size of the device is larger than Amazon Kindle's DX model so that business executives can more easily read newspapers, magazines and other content.
It appears...we're being targeted.
The Times July 22, 2009. "Oxfam books: the tome raiders cometh: As Oxfam celebrates its role as Europe’s biggest retailer of second-hand books, we send four Times writers to see what used bargains they can find for £10."
How annoying. Had I popped into the Amorous Cat bookshop a day earlier, the proprietor tells me, I could have snapped up an original Elizabethan medical textbook advising on common ailments. One of its solutions for masturbation, incidentally, was suicide.
Oh well. This is the thing about second-hand bookshops. The gems come and go. But the Amorous Cat, which has been in Lark Lane, Liverpool, since 1981, is somewhere you’d be hard pushed to come away from empty-handed, so stacked is it with quality titles ranging from Dickens classics to celebrity autobiographies. It is a treasure trove and a Tardis, seeming from the outside to be tiny but once inside snakes into teeming backrooms, one specialising in children’s books, and up the creaking stairs into yet more. What you don’t get with amazon.co.uk is this palpable smell and texture of history. Perhaps thanks to the credit crunch, business continues to boom. -- Read More
These are the trends that libraries in US are still studying but are so effectively implemented in Europe.
There are book dispensing machines in all over Stockholm from which a library card holder can borrow books,DVDs,and CDs 24/7. I am waiting for their adaptation here.
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