Book Stores

Bookstore Stimulus Package; a government bailout isn’t in the cards.

Here’s a letter that Roy Blount Jr., a wonderful author (all football fans should read his Steelers classic About Three Bricks Shy …) and president of the Authors Guild, recently sent to Guild members:

I’ve been talking to booksellers lately who report that times are hard. And local booksellers aren’t known for vast reserves of capital, so a serious dip in sales can be devastating. Booksellers don’t lose enough money, however, to receive congressional attention. A government bailout isn’t in the cards.

We don’t want bookstores to die. Authors need them, and so do neighborhoods. So let’s mount a book-buying splurge. Get your friends together, go to your local bookstore and have a book-buying party. Buy the rest of your Christmas presents, but that’s just for starters. Clear out the mysteries, wrap up the histories, beam up the science fiction! Round up the westerns, go crazy for self-help, say yes to the university press books! Get a load of those coffee-table books, fatten up on slim volumes of verse, and take a chance on romance!

There will be birthdays in the next twelve months; books keep well; more from the NYTimes.

Rowling's Beedle the Bard book flies off shelves

JK Rowling's The Tale of Beedle the Bard is on course to become the fastest-selling book of 2008 in the UK.

The Harry Potter author's collection of fairytales has shifted close to 370,000 copies in its first week on sale.

The book's nearest rival, Guinness World Records 2008, had 73,236 over-the-counter sales in the same period.

Name Powell's Squirrel and Win!

After a squirrel appeared this summer on Powell's Books (Portland, OR) reusable bags and then scurried around and appeared elsewhere in and about the store--on mugs, T-shirts, etc.--the staff became tired of referring to the anonymous critter as "the squirrel."

So now the store is staging a naming contest: as Dave Weich of Powells.com put it on his blog, "Winner gets a $100 Powell's card, a featured book shelf at Powells.com, and bragging rights into the future." The contest is mentioned on the website as well as in the latest stories about Fup, the late store cat whose fans hail from around the world. Already 238 people have submitted a name for Fup's distant cousin.

Books Make The Very Best Gifts

OK, you've determined you're going to try to buy books from your local independent booksellers...but now the question is...what are you going to buy?

The New York Times has a list of Notable Books from 2008 , and a list of list of Notable Books for Children from 2008.

You've got the list, you've bought the book(s), what now? Maybe some greeting cards that recycle into bookmarks to go along with it? Ah, the perfect combo. Mention birdie sent you, and you'll get free shipping on your order through the month of December.

Buy Local This Season...and Throughout the Year

From Shelf Awareness: "We're trying to remind people to think twice and support their local, independent retailers or they may not be there next year," Chris Morrow, general manager of the Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, Vt., told the Rutland Herald. Morrow is one of the founders of Local First Vermont, "a non-profit organization committed to preserving the character and prosperity of Vermont's economy, community networks and natural landscape."

"The message is simple: support your locally owned independent business," said Morrow. "Where you spend your money has a tremendous impact on what happens in our community. Decisions are made locally by people who are on your volunteer boards, running your Little League--it's not corporate headquarters somewhere closing a store so x number of people lose their jobs and there's a big vacant building. Since the economic collapse, people are seeing how important it is to build local resilience."

"People are getting the message," added Steve Eddy, owner of Book King, Rutland, "but I'm so enthusiastic about it, I explain it to them whether they want to hear it or not."

Amazon is easy, it's tempting, I know, I've succumbed on more than one occasion...but it's better for your community to buy from your local retailers and don't forget to support your local vendors too!!

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Indie Bookshops are... Just Like Your Local Pub

Independent bookstores are the sober equivalent of your local bar: Not only does everyone know your name, they know what you like. Furthermore, they benefit the publishing business: “Independent stores are where innovation lies,” says Kent Carroll of Europa Editions. “They can still make best sellers. The chains didn’t come onboard until after the fact.”

Here is New York Magazine's listing of fourteen great NYC bookstores.

Tell us about a favorite store near you and why you like them... Remember to buy local during the holidays and support a business in your community.

Philly's Oldest Independent Book Seller Calls It Quits

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Robin’s Book Store, a favorite haunt of the Philadelphia’s literati, announced last week that this will be its last holiday season. It will be closing up shop at the end of January. The city’s oldest independent book seller, Robin’s has long hosted poetry readings and autograph signings at 108 S. 13th Street. “Operating a book store was always a better hobby than a way to make a living, but now it’s impossible” writes Larry Robin in a news release. “Blame it on the Economy. Blame it on the Chain Stores. Blame it on the Internet.

Portrait of a Booklover

This one happens to be the owner of a used bookstore, but booklovers abound everywhere, and this article has a very good description of one.

DC Bookstore Helps a Zambian Library

Politics & Prose has launched an employee book drive to provide more than 4,000 titles for a new library that it's funding in Zambia. Jane Meyers, founder of the Lubuto Library Project , believed strongly that those books should come from an independent bookstore.

The result is a partnership between Dow Jones and Washington, DC's Politics and Prose Bookstore & Coffeehouse that will fill the indigenously styled library with titles carefully selected to provide educational opportunities to Zambia's street kids, orphans, and other at-risk children. Bookweb reports.

TX Bookstore Helping Three School Libraries After Hurricane Ike

Valerie Koehler, owner of Houston's Blue Willow Bookshop, has begun a nationwide book drive to restock the shelves in three school libraries that lost most of their collections due to Hurricane Ike.

With the help of store staff, area student organizations, and scout troops, Koehler hopes to collect more than a thousand books by December 1 to deliver to Anahuac High School, Alief Hastings 9th Grade Center, and Brazosport Intermediate School.

The specific needs of each school and ways to help are available on the Blue Willow Bookshop website's Hurricane Ike Library Relief page. Story from ABA's Bookselling This Week.

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