Book Stores

McGraw-Hill Announces E-Book Program With University of Minnesota

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.

Full article

More Independent Bookstores Closing

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.

Can Barnes & Noble Balance Physical and Online Sales Without Killing Itself?

Can Barnes & Noble Balance Physical and Online Sales Without Killing Itself?
In what has long been a nightmare scenario for booksellers, the physical bookstore is becoming a showroom for the online shopper. After casually browsing the tomes in comfort, people will use their smartphone or tablet to buy their choices online at a much lower price. While most booksellers can do little more than fume, Barnes & Noble is not just meeting the threat head on, it's embracing the change.

Tehran Book Fair versus the literature of Iran's Streets

From LA Times Jacket Copy: Readers walking into the Tehran Book Fair will not find "Memories of My Melancholy Whores"; the Gabriel Garcia Marquez book has long been banned. Yet if they can find a street stall, called nayab foreshi (Farsi for "forbidden items"), that book, and others, will be for sale.

The 10-day Tehran Book Fair, which attracts an average of 550,000 visitors per day, calls itself "the most important publishing event in Asia and the Middle East." It features publishers from the Islamic world, which are, like those in the West, struggling. Their troubles include the trafficking in pirated, banned books, reports our blog World Now.

“I can show you hundred titles of the books Xeroxed or on CDs sold in massive numbers right here in the sidewalks opposite Tehran University,” lamented Majid Taleghini, a publisher in Tehran. “We publishers are bankrupt and book smugglers are making a fortune. So what is the use of censorship?”

Frustrated writers say getting books past the government gantlet can take years, making it hard to eke out a living, even as the black market flourishes. Books must be submitted to the Cultural and Islamic Guidance Ministry, which picks out any offensive words, phrases or even whole paragraphs and insists on changes before texts can be printed.

The 25th annual Tehran Book Fair, which takes place at the Grand Mosque Mosalla, began today and continues through May 12.

East Harlem gets its first bookstore

East Harlem gets its first bookstore
Aurora Anaya-Cerda is the tour-de-force behind a new, Latino-culture focused bookstore, La Casa Azul, to open at 143 E.103rd Street in East Harlem this spring.

Page Views' Laura Booth sat down with her to talk about how she developed such a bold project, what her hopes for the store's role in El Barrio will be, and why she expects it to be successful.

[Thanks Steven!]

When Books Mattered

When Books Mattered

A new show at the Grolier Club on the Upper East Side conjures memories of the glorious bookstores designed by Ernest Flagg for the firm of Charles Scribner's Sons. Fortunately, both turn-of-the-century spaces still exist.

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When Christian Bookstores Ban Female Body Parts

When Christian Bookstores Ban Female Body Parts

In a breathy post about her life as in the Christian publishing industry in general, blogger Rachel Held Evans wrote specifically about her about her forthcoming book about her experience living “biblical womanhood” for a year: “…I’m too busy arguing with my publisher. They won’t let me use the word vagina in my book because we have to sell it to Christian bookstores, which apparently have a thing against vaginas.” Though only one sigh among the many difficulties of being a Christian “industrialist,” Evans’s fans raced to her rescue for this.

A How-to Book on Muslim Marriage

The Toronto Sun reports that a local bookstore has “sold out” of a controversial marriage guide (A Gift for Muslim Couple) that advises Muslim men on how to beat their wives.

The 160-page book, published by Idara Impex in New Delhi, India, is written by Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, who’s described in the book’s foreword as a “prolific writer on almost every topic of Islamic learning.”

The store’s manager, who didn’t give his name, said the book had been sold out for some time, and the store’s owner, whom the manager identified as Shamim Ahmad, refused to comment for the story.

It wasn’t clear whether the shop has ordered more copies of the book, but it’s available at online Islamic bookstores and even through eBay.

In the book’s opening pages, it is written that “it might be necessary to restrain her with strength or even to threaten her.”

Later, its author advises that “the husband should treat the wife with kindness and love, even if she tends to be stupid and slow sometimes.”

Page 45 contains the rights of the husband, which include his wife’s inability to leave “his house without his permission,” and that his wife must “fulfil his desires” and “not allow herself to be untidy ... but should beautify herself for him ... ” -- Read More

Ann Patchett on Colbert

Steve Colbert interviews author Ann Patchett. Patchett is co-owner of an independent bookstore. Her bookstore and Amazon are discussed.

Kepler's 2020: Literary Entrepreneur Reinvents the Bookstore

Kepler's 2020: Literary Entrepreneur Reinvents the Bookstore
Two trends are important to shaping Madan's thinking about bookstores and their future. Influenced by Robert Putnam's book Bowling Alone, he believes technology has an isolating impact. The best bookstores, like Kepler's, serve as a much-needed community hub. Secondly, as advanced as book ecommerce sites can be with recommendation engines, samples, or search inside the book, they don't replace the discovery of browsing physical books.

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