Book Stores

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.

R.I.P.: Molly’s Books

R.I.P.: Molly’s Books Today comes the news that Molly’s will be closing, and while this is awful news, it’s not exactly shocking; much like the local record store, the local book store has been in decline for a while now. Like the best of these places, though, Molly’s was special....


Ray Bradbury mourns Acres of Books

Ray Bradbury spoke last week at the iconic Long Beach bookstore and railed about its threatened closure and the dearth of bookstores in certain areas around Los Angeles. was there and quotes Bradbury, who said of Acres of Books, "I love this place. I love the smell of it. When it used to rain...I'd come to Long Beach, I'd come here to the Acres of Books and I'd go in the back."

Ray Bradbury on Long Beach's Acres of Books

The building where the landmark bookstore Acres of Books is located has been acquired by the city for redevelopment and the store must vacate by next May. This fact provoked a stern protest from secondhand bookstore-lover and acclaimed sci-fi author Ray Bradbury:

"If this place could be kept here, if you're going to build a mall, they should build it around here. They should be the center of the mall. They should be a shrine. They should have a crucifix up in front. I will come and bless the goddamn place. And I mean that. I want this store to remain here and they can build a mall around it...It should be surrounded by other fascinating stores. It shouldn't be moved. It shouldn't be changed because it's the best bookstore in Long Beach and one of the best in California."


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