Book Stores

How Low Can 'Harry Potter' Go? Indie Bookstores Diss Amazon

Indie bookstores say they might end up buying their stock of the final Harry Potter book from Amazon.com if their price beats the publishers, Scholastic. Publishers Weekly's Claire Kirch reports.

San Francisco, Shame onYou!

Out of all American cities, I thought you could hold on to an independent bookstore.
From Publishers Weekly: San Francisco, I'm giving you a time out. Sit in the corner and think about what you've done. No, not that corner. The other one;the darker one. Shame on you. You've shot yourself in the foot. Out of all the cities in the U.S., I thought you could hold on to an independent bookstore. You gave me hope. You are a city of composting, bike riding, free-to-be-you-and-me do-gooders. But I was wrong. I don't like being wrong, and now I am cross. Don't give me those puppy dog eyes. You know what you did. You killed Cody's.Article continued here.

Both Sales and Earnings Rise Sharply at Amazon

The typically slow winter months for traditional retailers did not seem to put a chill on the shopping at Amazon.com.

The company, based in Seattle, announced yesterday that its quarterly profit increased 38 percent, to $145 million, compared with $106 million in the period last year. It cited improving margins in its core retail business and increased sales in categories like electronics and soft goods, including jewelry, apparel and shoes.

Wall Street reacted positively to the report, which was released after the close of regular trading. Shares of Amazon.com shot up more than 12 percent after hours to over $50. During regular trading, Amazon shares fell to $44.75, down 2 cents, after slowly gaining all week on expectations of a strong quarter.
Story continued here.

Borders to reopen Web site; sell/close stores

Borders Group Inc. on Thursday plans to announce its intention to reopen its own branded e-commerce Web site in early 2008, ending an alliance with Amazon.com Inc. that had been the core of its online strategy, The Wall Street Journal reported. Story continued here.

Striking a blow for the independents

The Guardian Takes A Look at the world of the small book store. With book giant Waterstone's closing 30 shops, the outlook for the country's independent booksellers isn't as bleak as some had forecast.According to the Booksellers Association, a trade group for retailers, the number of independents has fallen from 1,700 in 2000 to 1,400 today. But that figure now appears to have stabilised. There are an increasing number of small publishers targeting the independents.

Will the closing of the libraries spur a Bookstore boom?

The Mail Tribune - Medford,OR - asks Will the closing of the libraries spur a ... Bookstore boom? It turns out when Jackson County's library system locked its doors last Friday, Barnes & Noble lost one of their best customers.
The reading public is adjusting.

"I think people who can afford it, will buy new books and trade them," Stoddart said. "The people who can't are out of luck."

She cited one client who calculated what he would pay in taxes if the proposed library levy on the May 15 ballot were to pass.

"He had figured out how much his taxes would increase," Stoddart said. "He told me: 'For that money, I would rather buy what I want to buy and then trade them in.' "

Cody's Books to leave S.F. -- 'It just didn't work'

Cody's Books will shutter its only store in San Francisco after 18 months of trying to survive in a cutthroat environment for independent booksellers.

The 22,000-square-foot store on Stockton Street, between Union Square and Market Street, will close on April 20. It will send 20 percent of its inventory to the last remaining Cody's location, on Fourth Street in Berkeley.

Cody's President Andrew Ross, who mortgaged his house to open the San Francisco store, said it has been losing $70,000 a month. He expressed disappointment in its failure.

"It wasn't like it almost didn't work -- it just didn't work," he said. "To make it work, we would have had a long, long way to go."

Further Reading On Iraq's Al-Mutanabi Street

You may have caught the news from Iraq this morning: Baghdad book market bombed. This was the first time I had heard about Mutanabi Street, so I did a little digging and came up with some links should you want to learn more about "an ancient centre of learning and culture." It sounds like a neat place, or at least it was a neat place. I don't have the time it would take to compile more complete list, but here's some reading to get you started. There must be better stuff out there.
A Similiar Explosion apparently happened a few years ago. Gulf News has a nice report on the area; "The road attracts readers from all walks of life, even professors who usually acquire books from the university library, since there are some books which are only found here," They call it "The road to a literary world."

Violence Changes Fortunes Of Storied Baghdad Street from the Washington Post last fall, where they call it "a shadow of its revered past" Many of the original booksellers have been forced to shut down. Others have been arrested, kidnapped or killed, or have fled Iraq. "We are walking with our coffins in our hands," said Mohammad al-Hayawi, the owner of the Renaissance book store, one of the street's oldest shops. "Nothing in Iraq is guaranteed anymore."
From 2002 Historic Baghdad street hit hard by sanctions Booksellers forced to sell private collections to stave off hunger.
A radio report From NPR is 2003. They call it mostly deserted, after an explosion hit a building at the street's entrance. Cafe patrons, poets and booksellers still debate, but now it's about the U.S. military occupation.
Selling Books in Baghdad from 2003 has a little bit of history.
And one more, from Cox News, Baghdad street market starving for new books with pretty much more of the same sad news.

Love at the Bookstore

Appropriate to the romantic nature of the day, here are the results of a contest sponsored by The Harvard Book Store(part of an institution soon to be headed by esteemed historian and scholar Drew Gilpin Faust, who is, incidentally, a woman)...stories of love found (or lost) in the aisles of a bookstore.

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