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The Independent Reports Some of Britain's best-known authors are celebrating a partial victory after the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) refused to wave through Waterstone's attempt to acquire its independent rival Ottakar's.A deluge of complaints from readers, authors and publishers prompted the competition watchdog to order an in-depth inquiry into the bid last week, on the ground that it threatened a thriving book market. The Competition Commission will have until next May to decide whether to allow the creation of a bookselling powerhouse.
AUTHORS and readers battling to stop High Street bookselling being dominated by one 'super chain' have won a crucial victory in the UK. A backlash against the takeover of the Ottakar's book chain by Waterstone's owner HMV has forced the deal to be referred for a full-scale competition inquiry.
Consumers and writers have waged a campaign against the deal, which they said could seriously damage Britain's literary trade and hurt niche and local writers. More at thisismoney.co.uk
Check out this online interview from Talking with Talis on the new OCLC Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources report, with George Needham, VP of OCLC. Lots of interesting tidbits about the report and the 2003 Environmental Scan.
This One originally ran in the Los Angeles Times. Kenneth Turan enjoys the company of books, especially on vacation. No matter which country he visits -- even such places as China, Japan or Greece, where deciphering the language is not an option -- he seeks out bookstores and hang around. So when he heard that one of the great Western concentrations of independent booksellers, more than two dozen establishments at last count, was just a few hours away from LA, a trip seemed mandatory.
News From Canada: A Vancouver gay bookstore has been given the go-ahead to argue in front of the Supreme Court of Canada that the government should fund its legal dispute with Canada Customs.
Yesterday, the top court granted Little Sisters Book and Art Emporium leave to appeal a lower-court decision that cut its funding lifeline for the legal fight. Jim Deva, a co-owner of Little Sisters, said fighting Canada Customs in court could cost the store $500,000 to $1-million, which he characterized as an impossibly high figure for a bookstore, or almost anyone else, to come up with.
The founding editors and co-publishers of Riverhead Books, the Penguin Group imprint that in recent years brought to bookstores hugely successful works like "The Kite Runner" and the journals of Kurt Cobain, announced yesterday they would leave Penguin later this month to start a new division of the Doubleday Broadway Publishing Group of Random House Inc.NY Times Has More.
Jay writes "Proquest just announced that new items added in its dissertation database are now available as RSS feeds. Excerpt from the web site: "The ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database includes over 2 million masters theses and dissertations, with over 60,000 titles added every year. It is a great resource for researchers in a wide variety of fields. Now, you can keep up with 'what's new' in the database using updates in RSS format. Once you point an RSS reader at this URL, anytime a dissertation or thesis is added to the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses database that matches the predefined subject terms, your website is updated automatically. Note that you can use dissertations & theses RSS Feeds regardless of whether you use the classic PQDD interface or access PQDT via the ProQuest platform. Non-subscribers will be able to see basic information about each relevant title."
For more information:
An Anonymous Patron writes "One From The Herald looks back at the first decade of Amazon. Alison Rowat says Accusing on-line booksellers of squeezing out serious literature and discouraging experimentation is wide of the bookmark. "
A fixture in the Atlanta GA area, Chapter Eleven Bookstores (a mini-chain of thirteen independent bookstores) is filing for bankruptcy, but will keep it's seven most profitable stores open.