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As librarians across the nation struggle with the task of redefining their roles and responsibilities in a digital age, many public libraries are seeing an opportunity to fill the void created by the loss of traditional bookstores. Indeed, today’s libraries are increasingly adapting their collections and services based on the demands of library patrons, whom they now call customers. Today’s libraries are reinventing themselves as vibrant town squares, showcasing the latest best sellers, lending Kindles loaded with e-books, and offering grassroots technology training centers. Faced with the need to compete for shrinking municipal finances, libraries are determined to prove they can respond as quickly to the needs of the taxpayers as the police and fire department can.
“I think public libraries used to seem intimidating to many people, but today, they are becoming much more user-friendly, and are no longer these big, impersonal mausoleums,” said Jeannette Woodward, a former librarian and author of “Creating the Customer-Driven Library: Building on the Bookstore Model.”
Independent bookstores have weathered competition from big chains, Amazon and now e-books. But NPR's Lynn Neary reports that this year's holiday shopping season looks like an improvement on past years, as booksellers offer quality hardcovers and their own take on e-readers.
Is the brick-and-mortar bookstore dying out? Not in these pages. In 'My Bookstore,' dozens of authors celebrate their favorite brick-and-mortar booksellers, located all across America. From California to Florida, here are 10 of their picks.
Earlier this year the two companies signed a licensing agreement whereby Amazon Publishing acquires, edits, markets and publicizes books that are then distributed by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s sales force, according to Alexandra Woodworth, a publicist for Amazon/New Harvest. The partnership was an effort to woo bookstores into stocking Amazon-published books. But many booksellers are balking.
“Amazon has not been a very cooperative fellow bookseller in any fashion,” LaFramboise said. “They pretty much want nothing more than our demise.”
The owner of Appletree Books, Jane Kessler, aged 91, just remodeled her bookstore.
Jane Kessler has had two long careers. As a Case Western Reserve University psychologist, she wrote a top textbook and helped pioneer preschooling for children with mental retardation. Since 1990, she's run Appletree Books on Cedar Hill.
At age 91, you just remodeled the store. Are you an optimist?
It was an act of faith. This is the first time we've remodeled. We had electric light fixtures from 1975, when the store opened. We couldn't get light bulbs for them anymore.
What kinds of books sell in Cleveland?
It's hard to generalize about Cleveland. Even in the Heights, we have different areas. Suzanne DeGaetano at Mac's Backs on Coventry sells different books than we do. She has a big reputation in poetry. Here, we have a lot of trade paperback fiction.
We're almost part of University Circle here. People are either seriously liberal or seriously conservative. They buy pretty serious fiction and science and math.
Print-on-demand (POD) books could soon be everywhere, according to a major announcement made today.
On Demand, the makers of the POD Espresso Book Machine currently installed in fewer than a hundred bookstores nationwide, have announced new partnerships with Eastman Kodak and ReaderLink Distribution Services.
Under the arrangement, the company's POD technology will be made available to retailers who have Kodak Picture Kiosks, currently installed in 105,000 locations according to Publishers Weekly, including drugstores and supermarkets.
Nearly five months after Google said it would end a little-used program that allowed independent bookstores to sell its e-books, a Canadian e-reading company named Kobo has stepped in as a replacement.
The American Booksellers Association, a trade group for independents, said on Wednesday that it had formed a partnership with Kobo that would make the company’s platform available to bookstores. The partnership will begin with 400 bookstores this fall.
The Women’s National Book Association has announced that novelist Ann Patchett has been selected to receive the 2012-2013 Women’s National Book Award. According to the Association’s website, the biennial award is given to “a living American woman who derives part or all of her income from books and allied arts, and who has done meritorious work in the world of books beyond the duties or responsibilities of her profession or occupation.”
Ann Patchett, whose most recent novel is State of Wonder (HarperCollins, 2011), is the bestselling author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including the novel Bel Canto, which won both the PEN/Faulkner and Orange Prize in 2002. Patchett’s work has also garnered such accolades as the New York Times Notable Book of the Year, the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, and the BookSense Book of the Year Award; and has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her articles and essays have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, and Vogue.
In 2011, Patchett and publishing veteran Karen Hayes opened Parnassus Books, an independent bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee, after the last remaining bookstores in the city had closed their doors. Patchett has since become a nationally recognized advocate for independent bookselling, and this year was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World.” Poets & Writers reports.