Books

The Book Trade, Canadian-Style

Gary Deane shows us This GlobeAndMail.com Story on Heather Reisman. She owns The Chapters superstore chain, Coles, SmithBooks, Indigo\'s, both chains\' e-commerce ventures, and a growing slice of the college bookstore business. They say she operates the closest thing to an unregulated monopoly in Canada\'s private sector; no other sizable developed country has let ownership of bookselling become so concentrated. The whole enterprise is losing money

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Booker Prize panel pleads \"smaller books, please!\"

A new article from the Guardian newspaper says that the judges for this year\'s Booker Prize are asking publishers to send them smaller, funnier books for consideration. I\'m interested particularly in the class distinctions they make:

In a radical departure from convention - \"the beginning of a new era\", according to their chairwoman, Lisa Jardine - they vowed to cast their net wider to more plebeian literary forms, and even into the lower depths of genre and \"popular fiction\".

Heaven forfend!

This is another tidbit I found in Publisher\'s Lunch. I like it more every time I read it.

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Commissioners Pull Second Library Book from Shelves

There\'s still more brewing in Montgomery county over the removal of some books from the library\'s shelves. The commissioners have decided to remove the second controversial title after some 200 residents attended a meeting and voiced their opinions about \"It\'s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex & Sexual Health.\" According to one source, \"About 30 people spoke during the meeting and by far the vast majority were in favor of more control over the content of children\'s books and how they get on the shelves in public libraries.\" Read More.

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Booksellers make lousy money--and book chains want to keep it that way.

This One takes a look at the lack of unionized workers at Borders Bookstores. If the labor drive is successful, the Uptown, MN, store will become the only unionized Borders in the country.

"We believe our employees are intelligent individuals," Roman says. "Obviously they have a right to explore whether they think a union is in their best interest. By that same token we have a right to express that we don't think a union is the best path to meeting employee needs."

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Suggestions For A Diversity Of Provocation

Here's A Provactive One from down in NC, where The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chancellor James Moeser recently told the National Press Club in Washington that the university would continue to pick “provocative” books for its infamous Summer Reading Program.
The author says they need to compile a reading list provocative to those in the "left-leaning academic community", books like, First Principles: The Jurisprudence of Clarence Thomas, and Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right.

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Books and the GST

Aaron Tunn sent along a story that looks at the collpase of book sales in OZ.
This One Says The latest figures from the Bureau of Statistics showed book sales collapsed by 19 per cent to just over 104 million books in the year following the introduction of the tax on July 1, 2000.

At the same time, the average publishing business cut staff by 15 per cent, while profit margins tumbled 41 per cent.
Australian Publishers Association chief executive Susan Bridge said 2000-01 had been a particularly terrible year, with sales hit by the triple blows of the GST, the Sydney Olympics and the low dollar.

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A dark twist in the tale of a book fanatic\'s historic collection

Jon Noble sent along
This Odd Story The late Alexander MacDonald. They say books were the one enduring obsession that helped define his life, he managed to create a private collection which, at its peak, consisted of close to two million titles.

It\'s the biggest private book collection in Australia.
Taken as a whole, they are a map of the country\'s popular reading tastes since the 1940s.

MacDonald\'s family, however, are less than enthralled by this grand, unwieldy inheritance. The collection, they say, is \"jinxed\".

The roll call of misadventures is startling. MacDonald was felled by his passion in 1997, dying at 84 of a strangulated hernia, the result of a lifetime of picking up boxes of old books.

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Literary Rights to \'Roots\' Sold Cheap to Florida Investor

The widow of the late Alex Haley has been forced to sell the literary rights to Roots for a measley $10,000. The buyer is an investor from FLorida who purchases \"unusual\" assets. \"Investor, John Palumbo, said the short-term financial reward is not a motive because the annual royalties amount to a few thousand dollars a year. A spurt of interest in Haley\'s work in the future could result in additional payoff for him. \'Regardless of what comes out of it, it will make a good conversation piece,\' he said.\"
Read More.

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Book Ban Battle Grows Over Kid Sex Books

The book banning brouhaha in Conroe, Texas is gaining steam as some 200 community members filed into the courthouse to witness the debate over two sex books aimed at kids. Those speaking out against the books want them removed completely from the library. The county judge says he\'s received hundreds, possibly thousands of comments that seem to indicate that the community is evenly split over the issue. Read More.

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Can the book you read lead to love?

Here\'s An Interesting One that says More than half the population believes you can judge a person by the books they read. Both men and women share the belief, but men are more convinced by the idea than women. They say We all know the saying that men think of sex every seven seconds, which may explain why the under 34 year old male is particularly interested in the girls reading Sex and the City by Candace Bushnall

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