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Read all about it, it being Garrison Keillor's new bookstore in St. Paul, MN, "Corner Books" opening on November 1. Although he intends to play an active role in the store, Keillor isn't planning on leaving the shores of Lake Wobegon. "His first dedication is to A Prairie Home Companion," said Chris Livingston, who is coordinating the opening of the store.
Keiller found his new manager, Sue Zumberge, through an ad in craigslist. Zumberge says of the store, "It's going to be great," she said. "From my conversation with Mr. Keillor, it sounds like it's going to have a real Midwest flavor. There will be a wide selection of fiction, with a concentration of Midwest writers. It will really have the flavor of a neighborhood bookstore."
In The Toronto Star James Grainer says The city's new breed of second-hand- book peddler is a former punk rocker.Whereas the used-book scene of the 1970s and '80s was dominated by, as Hanna puts it, "old hippies selling their cool stuff" in clusters of stores along Queen W. and Harbord, the new-model second-hand stores are run by old punk rockers selling their cool stuff in the newly hip neighbourhoods further west. (Babel co-owner Randy Harnett can attest to this trend: he's opened two locations of She Said Boom! Records & Book over the past decade, and three of his ex-employees, including Hanna, have opened combo book-record stores of their own.)
Not only independent, Boxcar Books in Bloomington Indiana is also non-profit. And it's surviving through the determined effort of volunteers, the local community and the faculty, staff and students at Indiana University. In addition to selling books to students and featuring literature of smaller publishers, their goals are also to send literature free of charge to prisoners in the midwest and to provide a meeting space for community and literary groups. Here's a profile of the store from Indiana Daily Student.
Anonymous Patron writes "New York Times: The Gotham Book Mart, one of New York's best known literary landmarks, was saved from closing only two years ago by two white knights who swooped down at the last minute and arranged the purchase of a $5 million building that would house its collection of rare books.
Now, the 86-year-old bookstore is in trouble again."
"It's true", said Garrison Keillor, regarding his intention to open a bookstore (for Norwegian bachelor farmers et al?) in St. Paul, MN. Keillor first signaled his entrepreneurial intentions on his Prairie Home Companion's Web site in discussing what he did over his summer break (scroll down on the left). Among other things, the radio host said he turned 64, had surgery to prevent further strokes, got started on a novel and "decided to open a bookstore." Story from the Chicago Trib.
After being totally destroyed during Katrina, Pass Christian Books (MS) is reopening thanks to the generousity of a local woman, Martha Murphy, who is leasing affordable space to local businesses on the following conditions: "project tenants will pay minimum rent on a temporary basis, but must show they are trying to move back to the downtown area when space becomes available." Murphy wanted to "do something for the community".
Story from Bookselling This Week including pre- and post-Katrina pictures of the store.
Bay Books, one of the three independent bookstores in Pleasanton, has written its last chapter.
Richard Van Tassell, owner of Bay Books, is closing its Pleasanton store, located on the corner of Stoneridge and Gibraltar drives, because of meager sales. He said Friday was the last day, but it is possible the store will remain open Monday.
Books are on sale for 60 percent off. Van Tassell's other two stores in Concord and San Ramon, which are faring better, will remain open.
"Many bookstores are suffering now and have been for awhile because of online competition, he said. They are making life difficult for independent bookstores.
Anonymous Patron writes "Famed Cody's Books sold / Buyer is Yohan, a line of bookstores based in Tokyo The latest chapter of the saga of Cody's Books, one of the Bay Area's most beloved independent booksellers, has the store in the hands of a Japanese owner. Cody's owner Andy Ross announced Wednesday that the store had been acquired by Yohan Inc., a book company based in Tokyo."
From the Bookfinder.com Journal. My wife and I spent our 4th of July weekend in Portland, Oregon. She's a landscape architect, designing parks, school playgrounds, and other public projects; she wanted to check out Portland's public art and green spaces. I'm a book junkie; all I wanted to see was Powell's. Continued here.
The Des Moines Register reports the closing of the cooperative bookstore Big Table Books in Ames after thirteen years of operation. Bookstore shareholder Steve Pett sold shares to 156 investors to start things up in 1992, but now Pett and the members of the coop consider the store's demise as another casualty in the war against the behemoth price-busting corporations.