Book Stores

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

Ga. Bookstore Seeks Funds To Stay Open

On "All Things Considered"

The owner of Wordsmiths bookstore in Decatur, Ga., is appealing for donations to help pay his bills. Word of his plight is spreading in the literary world. But some wonder whether it's appropriate for a for-profit enterprise to ask for donations.

Listen to full story here.

Here is the store's website that has their appeal.


Holland: Europe's Liveliest Book Trade

Publishers Weekly: A land of paradoxes, the Netherlands. Book trade concentration is little short of horrific. Depending on who you talk to, and whether Belgian Flanders is included in the calculation, two large groups of somewhat similar dimensions hold either 40% or 60% of the book market, while a third group is half as large as either of the first two. Yet it was one of the country's smallest publishers who recognized the potential of Harry Potter. Jaco Groot of De Harmonie, who buys according to his and wife Elsbeth's hunches, has followed J.K. Rowling ever since, and now has a cool million copies of the HP books in print.

Amazon Acquires Another Big Online Bookseller

News about new and old books from Publishers Weekly.

Amazon has reached an agreement to acquire AbeBooks, the Canadian-based online marketplace that has over 110 million titles for sale through its bookseller network. The purchase, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, will strengthen Amazon's already dominant position in the used book field.

"Books" a Memoir by Larry McMurtry

Reviews (mixed mostly) are sprouting up (in those publications that still have book reviews) for Larry McMurtry's new book simply entitled "Books".

McMurtry, in addition to being an author (Terms of Endearment, Last Picture Show, and the Pulitzer prize-winning Lonesome Dove), has been a bookseller in Archer Texas for the last forty-some years, and that is primarily the subject of this, his fortieth book.

Reviews: SF Examiner, NYT, Chicago Sun-Times and the Boston Globe.

A Baghdad Bookseller, Bound to His Country

An article in the Washington Post describes the life of a bookseller in Baghdad. "BAGHDAD Upstairs, the blue bedroom door of Nabil al-Hayawi's only son was locked, sealing in the artifacts of his short life. Downstairs, the frail bookseller's voice quivered as he recalled the car bombing that killed his son and his brother and razed his family's bookshop on Baghdad's storied Mutanabi Street.


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