Who\'s Minding the Store?

Business 2.0 has A Story on the world of \"category management,\" a bizarre and controversial place in which the nation\'s biggest boook retailers ask one supplier in a category to figure out how best to stock their shelves.
They say category management is now standard practice at nearly every U.S. supermarket, convenience store, mass merchant, and drug chain. And its use is growing because it works -- at least from a dollars-and-cents standpoint. According to a recent survey by retail consultancy Cannondale Associates, retailers attribute 14 percent sales growth to category management; manufacturers report an 8 percent jump. Both say such collaboration is the key to maximum efficiency.

Thoughts on applying this to libraries?


\'Book Stumpers\' and the Search for Lost Memories

Bob Cox sent over This One from NPR\'s Weekend Edition on Book Stumpers from Loganberry Books, a small store in Cleveland.
Book Stumpers acts as a sort of clearinghouse for shreds of information about old books. Participants pay a $2 fee to have their information posted. Logan also tries to find new or used copies of the books if the customers want to buy a piece of their childhoods. And if things work out, she deducts the fee from the sales price.


Turning Old Books into Gold

Gary Deane submitted This Story on Abebooks of Victoria which bills itself as \"the world\'s largest marketplace for second-hand, rare and out-of-print books.\"
They say Abebooks has built itself into a world power by turning the Internet into a global book bazaar. Some one million customers have used Abebooks, annually spending $75 million to $100 million. Computers have yet to kill the printed word, but they\'ve profoundly changed how those words are sold.

There are things computers can\'t replicate: the purr of a bookstore cat, the heft of a volume, the thrill of an unexpected find, the whiff of mildew and age, as though the books themselves are breathing. John West isn\'t one to blame Abebooks for the disappearance of such shops. \"They\'re not a cause,\" he says, \"they\'re a symptom, I suppose, of the way people like to shop these days.\" The method of sale may change, he says, \"but books are here forever.\"


MO Teacher Draws Fire for Racial Lesson

Here\'s A Findlaw Story James Nimmo sent over on a seventh-grade teacher who used \"Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word\" by Randall Kennedy in class.
Jennings School District Superintendent Terry Stewart said Schumacher had good intentions but bad judgment when she used the book.
On Feb. 25, the book was featured in a similar classroom situation in an episode \"Boston Public.\" Following that, it was the subject of a senior English class at a high school in Silver Spring, Md., in which both the book and the TV show occasioned a lively discussion that was covered by The Washington Post.


Obscure bookstore enjoys prestige in literary circles

Here\'s A Neat Story from down in Arkansas, where \"That Bookstore\" has been in Blytheville for 26 years.
The owners abilities have endeared her to people beyond her hometown of 18,272 and made That Bookstore in Blytheville known to publishing houses in New York and to writers such as John Grisham, Pat Conroy and Fannie Flagg.
That Bookstore is one of only a few places where Grisham will do book signings, and it was a stop on Hillary Rodham Clinton\'s tour promoting It Takes a Village. Yes, they have A Web Site.

\"There are a couple dozen independent bookstores across the country that are really the crème de la crème of what a bookstore is, and That Bookstore in Blytheville would be one of them,\" says David Gernert, a former editor-in-chief at Doubleday


Armageddon fiction grips the US

Bob Cox sent along This BBC Story on a series of novels which dramatise the \'end times\' as fundamentalist Christians call them.
They say Millions upon millions of ordinary Americans, and not just the ones who live in log huts and think the government is poisoning the water, are reading them.


Warning: \'graphic\' content

This Sault Star Editorial has some good things to say about the new graphic novels The Sault Ste. Marie Public Library has added.
The library is also right to warn parents about the possibility of explicit sexuality in what used to be seen as a “safe” medium for even the youngest children in the days of Superman Comics and Archie and Uncle Scrooge.
Though they add, libraries could do even better by labelling books for content, so that parents are more fully informed and could fulfill their responsibility more efficiently.


The NRA Take on Disarming libraries

Jud sent over
This Grassroots Alert from the NRA on all the troubles with \"Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture.\"
They say a movement may be building to have \"Arming America\" removed from the shelves of libraries around America. They also say If nothing else, perhaps Bellesiles’s work can be moved to the Fiction section of the library.


Some Best-Seller Old Reliables Have String of Unreliable Sales

Gary Deane points us to The NYTimes, where they say some of America\'s most popular authors are finding that being big isn\'t what it used to be.
Tom Clancy, Stephen King, Mary Higgins Clark and Sue Grafton, usually among the most bankable of best-selling writers, sold far fewer copies of their books than expected this past year. The disappointing sales numbers, possibly the result of too many books from the same authors or the book-buying public\'s changing tastes, contributed to a dismal holiday season for book retailers, particularly chain stores like Barnes & Noble and Borders.

\"Too many authors are cranking out at least a book a year,\" the executive said. \"Readers can\'t keep up. It\'s the bottom-line pressure to be on schedule, to deliver at least a book a year. You have 10 percent of people saying, I can wait for the paperback or wait until I hear more about it. And then they may not buy.\"


Breaking into books

Bob Cox points us to This Christian Science Monitor Story on Independent publishing. They say it\'s persevering in an industry that\'s presented fewer and fewer opportunities for entry in recent decades, as consolidation and corporate ownership have reduced the number of publishers and bookstores. More than ever, small and midsized publishers are valued for the variety they bring readers and the outlet they provide for writers who can\'t get the attention of the industry giants.

\"A book is a book is a book, and contrary to what people were saying a few years ago, they\'re not going away anytime soon,\" says Stephen Hull, founder of Boston-based Justin, Charles & Co\"



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