Book Stores

Amazon’s Purchase of Shelfari, a Possible Front in the Battle with Borders

In Amazon’s Purchase of Shelfari, a Possible Front in the Battle with Borders—and a Triumph for Social Book Sites

Last week, we reported that Amazon is acquiring Seattle-based Shelfari, a literary social networking site. We also noted that Cambridge, MA-based LibraryThing (which Amazon also owns 40 percent of) had some harsh words for its West Coast rival. John Cook of the Seattle P-I provided some useful insights and comments here (e.g., the deal is less than $10M, not a home run). But the acquisition left me wondering about more than just the future of these two startups, and whether it was a good exit for Shelfari. It made me think about Amazon’s strategy, and how the deal fits into the larger context of social sites built around books and other consumer goods.

Full blog entry here.


Online bookstore sued for selling illegal books in China

The popular Chinese-language online bookstore was sued with selling illegally published books at a court hearing held here on Tuesday.

Zhang Hongru, president of the Beijing-based Tuanjie Publishing House, took Dangdang to court after he bought on its website in early July a book allegedly compiled by himself and found it was counterfeited and illegally published.


Second-hand book sellers learn to adapt

Second-hand book sellers learn to adapt The World Wide Web has found a home amid the shelves and stacks of Canada's second-hand bookstores.

But sellers say that doesn't mean the final chapter has been written for customers who like to troll nooks and crannies in search of lexical treasures.

“Most of our sales are just good old walk-in traffic — the old-fashioned way,” says Pat Edgar-Brown.

Another Reason To Get A Library Card

There are lots of reasons to have a valid and up to date library card, but here's one you might not have thought of...

In keeping with National Library Card Sign Up Month, the local independent bookstore La Vieille Maison des Livres announces a free book giveaway. Bring your new (dated September 2008) library card and receive a free children's book. This offer is open to all new library sign ups by children of Union County (PA) in grades 1-6.

Hopefully Mom & Dad will also shop around and find something to their liking at the bookshop and keep their dollars in the community.

Amazon hides sales rank on certain books is hiding the sales rank on certain risque books if they become too popular. Full story here. The books in the article may be the best selling books in the country. According to the article their is a strong argument that they are at least in the Amazon top 100.


Rival raises questions over Amazon's Shelfari purchase's acquisition of Seattle-based Shelfari is raising some questions -- at least in the mind of one competitor.

LibraryThing's Tim Spalding offered his take on the deal, writing in a blog post that he has the "greatest contempt for (Shelfari) and for what book-based social networking will become if they beat out LibraryThing."

His harsh critique of Shelfari, an Internet site that allows people to create virtual bookshelves, continued:

Full article and critique here.


The Report

At, they track demand trends for a wide range of out-print titles. Most of those books went out of print because of low demand or ailing publishers, but some have more interesting publishing histories, involving factors like suppression or controversy. Several of the titles in this year's Report fall in the latter category.

Longlist for 2008 German Book Prize Announced

Longlist for 2008 German Book Prize Announced Among the nominees presented on Wednesday, Aug. 20, from more than 161 German-language novels were well-known writers Uwe Timm, Marcel Beyer and Peter Handke. 2008 wasn't the first appearance on the longlist for several other nominees, including Ingo Schulze, Judith Kuckart and Feridun Zaimoglu. Judges had a rich list of titles to choose from, director of the Literaturhaus Hamburg and jury spokesperson Rainer Moritz said when announcing the list.


City Lights: 50 years on the cutting edge of publishing

At Times Online Megan Walsh visits the defiantly independent San Francisco bookstore and publisher that has its roots in the beatnik 1950s.and a promising future in baiting the establishment.

“We’re able to take chances on writers and we hope that when we put books on our shelves it means something,” says bookseller Paul Yamasaki, “It’s important to make a very clear political statement.” This means no bestsellers, no Ayn Rand (too conservative) and no ‘three for twos’. Good to know that there are still publishers looking for more than profit.

B&N Cancels Order for Chelsea Green’s Obama Book

Barnes & Noble has cancelled its 10,000-copy order of Obama’s Challenge, a book by Robert Kuttner that Chelsea Green is making available early exclusively through Chelsea Green president and publisher Margo Baldwin said the chain will make the book available on and will special order it, but that it will not stock it in its stores.

More at Publisher's Weekly


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