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From the Villager: Nearly two decades of poisoning, shooting and other assorted mayhem in New York are coming to an end. After 18 years of life, a West Village bookshop chock-full of mysteries and crime novels will be interred next month.
Partners & Crime Mystery Booksellers, located since 1994 on Greenwich Ave. at Charles St., is shuttering its doors. Sleuthing out the reasons for its demise does not require the skills of Sherlock Holmes or Miss Marple.
“It’s been hard times for independent bookstores,” said Maggie Topkis, a co-owner.
Its demise adds to the heap of defunct mystery bookstores in the city that have closed in the past decade, including Murder Ink, on Broadway in the W. 90s, and Black Orchid Bookshop, on E. 81st St., whose parties sometimes extended into the street. The three owners of Partners & Crime got to know each at Foul Play, on Hudson St., another mystery bookstore that was rubbed out.
Otto Penzler, founder of the Mysterious Bookshop, on Warren St., said mysteries sell well, but that mystery bookstores, like all independent bookstores, have struggled. He said one of the specialties that keep his bookstore going is the number of signed copies it sells."
Steven Viola, daytime manager at Partners & Crime, said the authors who came to read there were a highlight of working there. He mentioned P.D. James, Colin Dexter, Lee Child and Michael Connelly as some authors who were particularly pleasant.
Bookstore owner finds business a page turner
Kim Krug took a big step in June 2009: she opened the Monkey See, Monkey Do children's bookstore in Clarence, NY with her mother, Kathleen Skoog, as her business partner. Starting a small business at any time can be challenging, but Krug did so amid an economic downturn, and in an industry under pressure from online booksellers and e-books.
The French, as usual, insist on being different. As independent bookstores crash and burn in the United States and Britain, the book market in France is doing just fine. France boasts 2,500 bookstores, and for every neighborhood bookstore that closes, another seems to open. From 2003 to 2011 book sales in France increased by 6.5 percent.
From the Malaysian Digest, news that a Borders store manager in Kuala Lumpur is facing possible arrest for stocking a Canadian title that Muslim religious authorities find objectionable.
Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz was charged in the Kuala Lumpur Syariah Court for allegedly violating the Hukum Syarak by distributing or selling Irshad Manji’s book Allah, Liberty and Love.
“The management of Berjaya Books Sdn Bhd who own and operate the Borders bookstore chain in Malaysia is very disappointed that our store manager Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz has today been charged by Jabatan Agama Wilayah Persekutuan (JAWI) in the Kuala Lumpur Syariah Court for distributing a book by Canadian author Irshad Manji deemed to be against the Islamic Law (Hukum Syarak) and banned in Malaysia. The charge was brought under Section 13(1) of Prime Minister’s Department for Islamic Affairs Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom have also been named as respondents in the application for judicial review."
So maybe publishers should treat indies like showrooms, and send their books to indies on consignment. That means that only if and when a book sells is money paid to the publisher. The books in the store shouldn’t be the focus of the revenue. Instead, the revenue might come from membership fees, book rentals, and referral fees for drop shipped new copies or ebook sales. Members of this store/library then would have a stake in keeping the store/library open, so presumably they would have little motivation to misuse ebook files. Then I as a publisher might have a reason to trust the store and those members with DRM free files.
This is an essay I wrote last month and am having trouble finding an audience. I think LISnews readers and I would find it mutually beneficial.
The textbook publisher McGraw-Hill Higher Education announced a pilot program with University of Minnesota bookstores last week that may eventually make early semester lines and sold-out core texts as obsolete as the diskette.
McGraw-Hill will offer its complete catalog of more than 1,600 e-books to University of Minnesota students starting in the 2012 fall semester (the number of participating students was not yet available). Professors decide whether to sign up their classes.
The full texts will cost significantly less than a hard copy and appear in the university’s learning management system, or online interface, as soon as a student registers for a class.
What is happening to our Literary Life?
Open for only five years, the owners of Literary Life Bookstore and More (Grand Rapids, MI) made a warm inviting environment from a classic brick bank; now what will it become?
Yesterday there was news of a bookstore closing in Hood River, OR , Gorge Bookstop. Both were family-owned bookstores.